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Disaster Management and Prevention are the collective responsibility of individuals – DG NEMA

Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has said disaster management and prevention are the collective responsibility of individuals, communities and organisations.
Sani-Sidi said this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum on Wednesday, in Abuja.
“Prevention of disaster is not about NEMA, it’s not about one agency of government, it has to have a society-wide approach.
“Everyone must be an active participant in ensuring that we have peace and stability in this country, everyone working hard to ensure that peace is sustained in this country.
“NEMA is the coordinator because in everything you do, you must have coordination because if you don’t have coordination, you have waste of resources, duplication of functions and obviously inefficiencies’’, he said.
“There are two challenges, one, coordination is always a challenge because there are some agencies that do not want to be coordinated.
“Two, is inter-agency rivalry. Take these two away and you have a very good and perfect scenerio’’.
The director-general said adherence to standard operation by every agency in addition to constant engagement and coordination would enhance effective disaster management and risk reduction.
Sani-Sidi described NEMA as“ an advocate of mainstreaming Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in the National Development plan and what it entails”.
He said NEMA was collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Education to ensure that DRR was included in school curricula and even taught in tertiary institutions.
He pointed out that a Universities in each of the six geo-political zones now offers Masters Degree and diploma in DRR which are funded by NEMA.
He listed them as University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Nigeria (Enugu campus), University of Maiduguri, Federal University of Technology, Minna and University of Portharcourt.
Sani-Sidi explained the measure is geared towards ensuring that DRR form a part of the daily lives of Nigerians and incorporated into Nigeria’s National Development Plan.
He emphasised that senistisation and awareness creation are essential to public enlightenment on foretold disasters, urging relevant stakeholders to buy into these programmes.
“Disaster management is multi-sectoral. So you have your role as media professionals in sensitising the public especially the communities at risk.
“This year, when NIMET released its seasonal rainfall prediction that there might be flood in some states, we have carried out sensitisation, we have done advocacy visits.
“We have requested government at all levels to sensitise the communities at risk, those people living in flood prone area to move to higher grounds.
“Some have heeded our advice, some have not.
“So some were affected by the recent flood even though it was not as bad that of 2012’’.
He restated that NEMA is ever ready to work with individuals and agencies in disaster management. (NAN)

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All correspondences should be addressed to: Public Relations Division, National Emergency Management Agency, No. 8, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent Maitama, Abuja Email: nemapress@yahoo.com or info@nema.gov.ng

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