The past few years have witnessed changes in the sphere of disaster management in the country which could be attributed to the tireless and dedicated efforts of the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi who was appointed in September 2010 and recently re-appointed for second term in office. It is indisputable fact that Sani Sidi has turned around the approaches to disaster management in the country using strategic values that have helped to save lives and billions of Naira worth of property; as well as sustaining and improving the relationship with stakeholders; especially specialized volunteers on disaster management in the country. Some of his notable accomplishments as Director General of NEMA include:
Ø Deployment of latest technology to advance the cause of disaster management in Nigeria
Ø Introduction of the toll free emergency contact number (0800CALLNEMA/080022556362 in case of emergency with prompt response from the Agency
Ø Empowerment of volunteers groups eg Executive volunteers, grassroots volunteers and youths volunteers
Ø Training and retraining of staff and stakeholders through regional seminars, conferences and simulation exercises
Ø Improvement in early warning alerts by NEMA which has assisted in great measures in reducing risk from excessive rainfall that have resulted to massive flooding this year
Ø Timely response to disaster occurrences like bomb explosions, collapsed building, flood among others Ø Successfully evacuated stranded Nigerians from troubled countries and re-united them with their families in Nigeria. Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea and Saudi Arabia are cases in points.
Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi was born 12th August 1966 in Jere, Kagarko Local Government Area of Kaduna State. He started his education career in 1973 at LEA Primary School, Jere, where he obtained his school leaving certificate in 1979. He attended Government Secondary School, Minna, for the West African School Certificate (WASC) between 1979 and 1984. He enrolled into the College of Advanced Studies, Zaria for his IJMB “A” Level between 1984 and 1986. He bagged B.sc (Hons) in Business Administration from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1989; Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy (MIAD) between 200 and 2001, and 2001 to 2002 respectively from the same University.
He began his working career at the Ministry of Finance, Katsina State, where he served as Data entry Officer for one year mandatory National Service (NYSC) primary assignment in 1989 to 1990. He was Senior Manager (Supplies) at the then National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) in 1990-2003. He became Special Assistant to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Abuja in 2003 to 2007. Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Kaduna State in 2008 to 2010; Honourable Commissioner Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Kaduna State in July 2010 to September 2010.
Also at different times he was assigned with the responsibilities of overseeing the Ministries of Finance, Land and Education respectively. He became the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency from September 2010 to date. He is a member of many national and international professional bodies such as the International association of Emergency Managers (IAEM). USA; International Emergency Management Society (TIEMS), Belgium; Institute of Civil Protection and Emergency Management (ICPEM), United Kingdom; World Society of Victomology (WSV), Germany; and Institute of Corporate Administration, Nigeria.
Alhaji Sani Sidi has received several awards to his excellence in public service. These include Fellowship Award for Distinguished Professional Contribution by the Institute of Corporate Administration, March 2011; Award for Exemplary Leadership in Disaster Management by Conference on Disaster, Safety and Management, March 2011; Outstanding Chief Executive Officer by Thisday Newspaper, Special Reports, April 2011; CEO of Best Emergency and Disaster Management Agency of the year by African Leadership Magazine, London, June 2011; Human Rights Friendly Public Official of the Year by Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, December 2012. Conferred with National Honours of the Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), October 2014.
He has also been conferred with the award of Humanitarian Icon by the Institute of Humanitarian Studies in November 2014, 2014 Outstanding Public Servant by The Sun Newspaper. Also, his distinguished public service had captured the attention of Federal Government and Kaduna State Government which specially appointed him to oversee the affairs of various public sectors and several other committees.
He represented the country in several conferences and seminars both within and international communities such as Member Delegation to the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) meeting in Kampala, Uganda; member, Study Tour on Debt Management to Australia in January 2005; member Delegation EU-ECOWAS Meeting in Dakar, July 2005; Africa Development Bank (ADB) Annual Meeting, Abuja in 2005; Member Delegation to Annual Meetings on Africa Capacity Building foundation, Paris 20o6; Member of Delegation Nigeria/Xenel Meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Member of Delegation Nigeria/UAE Investment Mission, Abu Dhabi, UAE; Leader of Nigeria’s Delegation, Third Session of Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, Geneva, Switzerland in 2011; among others.
He also served among many other presidential special assignment as member Presidential Flood Relief Committee in 2012; Chairman Presidential Committee on Procurement and Distribution of Relief materials to the Internally Displaced Persons in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa; member Presidential Committee on Victim Support Fund.
His success in presiding over the management of humanitarian intervention for the IDPs informed his nomination in almost all Presidential assignments in supports of the North East.