STATE GOVERNMENTS URGED TO ESTABLISH EMERGENCY TRUST FUND

Participants at the annual consultative meeting between the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) have called for the establishment of Emergency Trust Fund by state governments to be funded with 1% of internally generated revenue and 1% of monthly allocation from the Federation Account to the states, through appropriate legislation.

This, they said has become necessary due to lack of defined funding sources and allocation criteria for the SEMAs by state governments resulting to over reliance on NEMA. They observed that most of SEMAs are either not funded or are inadequately funded in spite of the enormity of disaster management activities in the states.

The participants also observed that most SEMAs were not established by law and those established by law were not functional and they lacked proper structure with full complement of departments, units and staff.

The consultative meeting with SEMAs is organized annually by the NEMA to consider recent trends of disaster management across the country, update SEMAs on recent changes in MEMA’s policies and receive updates with a view to strengthening disaster management at the state level. This year’s meeting was held at the weekend in Asaba, Delta State.

Earlier, in his remarks the Director General of NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi called for stronger coordination among critical stakeholders especially between the coordinating agencies at the federal and state levels as effective disaster management and humanitarian service delivery cannot be achieved by one tier of government alone.

“Government institutions, the private sector, local and international organisations and individual must work together for a nation like ours to meet its objectives of emergency management, disaster risk reduction and the building of strong national resilience,” Sani Sidi said.

He stressed that coordination allow all personnel and agencies involved in emergency management to work together for enhanced service delivery, saying that was done with the main goal of saving lives, protection of properties, critical national assets and infrastructure and the complete restoration of normalcy in the aftermath of disasters.

Participants at the meeting were executive secretaries/heads of state emergency management agencies from each state, NEMA zonal coordinators and managements staff.



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