The federal government of Nigeria is set to establish a national emergency response system to promptly cater for all emergency cases in the country.
The minister of state for health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, who disclosed this when he paid a visit to the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mohammad Sani Sidi in his office said the effort would help improve emergency services in the country.
“We think that there is plenty of room to improve emergency response system in this country. In some advanced countries, you will hear of 911, 999 and every citizen knows that if you have problems, you could call those numbers and help will come.
“There must be a response mechanism [in Nigeria] because the earlier you can attend to an emergency, the more lives you can save.
“Presently, there are many agencies managing these emergencies and responses but we are looking for a way of coordinating and bringing all these groups together to be able to work and create one national efficient response system,” he said.
Ehanire noted that the ministry has been in contact with all the agencies responsible for emergency and disaster management, adding, “We have consulted the Nigeria Road Safety Corps, the Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Federal Fire Service and we are here at NEMA today.”
He also said the ministry would work with the ministry of communications to develop the emergency response number very soon, lamenting that the existing one has not been effective.
While acknowledging the improvement in the humanitarian situation in the Northeast, the minister promised his ministry’s readiness to partner NEMA in rebuilding and replacing damaged health facilities as well as meeting the psychological and emotional needs of the victims of insurgency.
Responding, the Director General of NEMA said, though the country has the capacity to handle all emergencies and disasters, can only achieve the best result if all stakeholders involved in emergency management in the country work together.
Sani Sidi therefore, pledged agency’s continued collaboration with all stakeholders in the area of emergency and disaster response.
“We also believe it is time to have a coordinated response to disaster and emergency by harnessing all the resources that we have and be able to respond effectively and efficiently,” he added.