It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you all to this unique event of the Workshop on the Creation of National Disaster Database and risk information management for sustainable risk informed development in Nigeria. As a multi-stakeholder forum, | am delighted that there is a mixture of participants and experts from diverse professional backgrounds coming together on this laudable mission. | have no doubt that the objectives of the workshop will be achieved with the expertise of the participants consisting of strategic Nigeria National Ministries, Departments and Agencies as well as State Emergency Management Agencies and the United Nations systems led by United Nations Development Proramme (UNDP). The Workshop is within the context of the Sahel Resilience project titled, “Strengthening Capacities for Disaster Risk Reduction and Adaptation for Resilience in the Sahel Region: fostering risk-informed solutions for sustainable development”.
Ladies and gentlemen, let me at this juncture, for purpose of understanding state that the Sahel Resilience Project covers seven countries in the Sahel Region of West Africa namely; Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. In Nigeria, the project is domiciled in NEMA as the National Focal institution on disaster risk reduction and disaster risk management. It is a multi-partnership scheme implemented by UNDP in collaboration with African Union Commission, ECOWAS, UN Women, Lake Chad Basin Commission
and other regional organizations under the sole funding assistance of the ‘ swedish Government.
The choice of the Sahel Region for the project is very germane considering the worrisome physical and human development indices of the area. It is described as one of the poorest and most environmentally dry lands in the world suffering from drought as a major risk factor. It is equally noted as another most vulnerable region globally due to its fragile ecosystem and economy exacerbated by extreme weather conditions and climate change phenomenon, poverty, insecurity, political unrest and terrorism. These factors have combined to cause continuous deterioration of livelihoods and food insecurity; hence undermining community resilience to shocks and stress with varying degrees on demographic structure consisting of women, children, the elderly, people living with disabilities and other vulnerable groups. This requires concerted and collective disaster management efforts to ensure that no one is left behind.
Distinguished participants, it is necessary to stress that management of disaster risks in the contemporary period are anchored on preparedness, mitigation, risk reduction and adaptation. This cannot be realized without the full deployment of both quantitative and qualitative data for disaster risk-informed decision, planning and progamme implementation. Consequently, I commend the UNDP for this laudable workshop on the creation of disaster database for risk informed sustainable development in Nigeria.
The period of this workshop has coincided with the ongoing evaluation of 2022 flood season which has become a challenging and tasking moment for NEMA and her stakeholders in disaster risk management; some of whom are here today. As you might be aware, 2022 flood impacted adversely on the country. It resulted in devastating consequences in all the 36 states including the FCT. The magnitude of destruction, damage and losses is monumental which requires massive
recovery efforts that depend on data availability and exchange with the attribute of acceptability, accuracy and timely. You can now appreciate the importance of data in disaster risk management. Adequate systematic collection of risk data for estimating post disaster impacts and needs constitute a major parameter for risk-informed decisions and recovery planning and implementation in Nigeria and the Sahel region in particular. I therefore solicit for your devotion and commitment in order to actualize the objectives of the workshop.
Finally, while wishing you a successful and fruitful deliberation, I once
again thank the UNDP for organising the workshop and the participants
for according it necessary consideration and premium to attend it.
Thank you and God bless.