Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great joy to welcome you to the launching of the National Contingency Plan for Nigeria commencing 2023- 2025.
This occasion marks a significant milestone in our collective efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of our nation and its people in the face of potential natural and human induced emergencies and disasters.
The importance of a National Contingency Plan cannot be overstated. Nigeria has experienced quite a number of human and natural disasters, public health emergencies, and other unforeseen events which can occur at any moment, causing immense devastation and disruption of the functioning of the society. It is our duty, as disaster managers and citizens, to ensure that we are adequately prepared to respond swiftly and efficiently to such situations.
I welcome each and every one of you once again. Your presence here today demonstrates your commitment and dedication to the cause of disaster preparedness and response. Together, we represent a diverse range of expertise, backgrounds, and organizations, all united by a common goal: to launch and put into formal use an effective National Contingency Plan that will guide us in times of crisis.
Over the past months and years, countless hours of hard work, research, and collaboration have gone into the development of this plan. Experts from various sectors have contributed their knowledge and experience, drawing upon lessons learned from past disasters and incorporating the latest best practices in disaster management. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to UNICEF for supporting the process and all those who have contributed in one way or the other to this remarkable endeavour.
It is important to emphasise that NEMA in collaboration with UNICEF and other stakeholders carried out a risk analysis of Nigeria in 2021. The exercise was carried out across the geo-political zones of the country and covered different risks and hazards at the Local Government Areas (LGAs) level, including floods; epidemics; conflict and violence amongst others. The objective of the analysis was to identify, assess and rank risks with a view to understanding related vulnerabilities and capacities, while fostering effective risk management approaches among agencies addressing the same or similar threats. The outcome of the risk analysis guided the review of the National Contingency Plan.
As we embark on this launch, let us remember that our work emphasises the importance of community engagement and participation. The National Contingency Plan will not only safeguard lives and livelihoods but also reinforce our resilience as a nation. It empowers us to respond effectively to emergencies, mitigate their impact and prepare for response should they occur.
NEMA will focus on disaster preparedness actions including continuous revision of risks across the country, supporting States in development of contingency plans and also focus on Early Warning System to enable communities understand the risks they face and linkages to ensure they are able to prevent, prepare and respond to these risks. To do this, NEMA is specially requesting the support of UNICEF in this regard.
Additionally, NEMA will want other partners to commit to this support in a coordinated manner while working with concerned departments in NEMA, to ensure the resources are evenly distributed across the country especially with the current limited resources.
As we launch the National Contingency Plan (2023-2025) for Nigeria today, let us remember that preparedness is key to saving lives and minimising the impact of emergencies. I have great confidence in our collective abilities to rise to the challenges ahead. Together, we can build a disaster resilient society.
Once again, I extend my warmest welcome to all of you.
Thank you for your commitment and dedication. Let us make the most of this meeting and work hand in hand towards a resilient and prepared nation.
I hereby declare this meeting open.
Thank you and God bless.