The Director General National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Mustapha Habib Ahmed has advised stakeholders in disaster management to take advantage of capacity development opportunities facilitated by the Agency to prepare for emerging disaster challenges in the country for proactive risk management and efficient disaster response.
Addressing the opening of executive seminar on Emergency Management organized by NEMA in collaboration with Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) in Abuja, Mustapha Habib Ahmed said the training was imperative also as “we begin our preparedness for another cycle of the annually recurring flood” in the country.
He said “as we are all aware, this event is taking place in the immediate aftermath of the devastating 2022 flood disaster which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. Records indicate that 662 persons have lost their lives, 3,174 others have suffered injury and 2,430,445 individuals have been displaced by the floods. Thousands of houses, hectares of farmlands and several critical national assets were destroyed by the raging floods. NEMA in collaboration with State Governments and other partners are currently working assiduously towards the long-term recovery of impacted communities across the nation.”
Therefore, he said “In this regard, there is no better time than now for this training program. I therefore call upon all participants to use this opportunity to interact with one another, share experiences and develop holistic approaches to disaster and crisis management in Nigeria. I am confident that the expert -guidance of our resource persons from the Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre will surely make this capacity building program a resounding success. For our distinguished participants from NEMA, SEMAs and our partners who were carefully selected to attend the program, I congratulate you for the great opportunity to explore and equip yourselves with new frontiers of knowledge.”
Furthermore, The NEMA DG said “I am glad to announce to you that we have brought in experts with years of experience working both in the United Kingdom and overseas to support governments and multi-national organizations with disaster and crisis preparedness, response and recovery for this high level seminar. There is no doubt that at the end of this program which is tailor made to meet our peculiar needs in Nigeria, participants would be better prepared to face up to both new and emerging disaster challenges in their various areas of operation and the entire Nigerian federation. I say this because not long after I resumed duty at NEMA, I attended an executive Briefing in the United Kingdom organized by BUDMC between 5th and 9th November, 2021 anchored by Mr. Richard Gordon, Director of the Centre and Professor Lee Miles, Professor Crisis and Disaster Management.”
He also said, “with the hindsight of recent disaster and humanitarian crises in several hotspots across Nigeria, I felt it has become expedient for this Executive Seminar to be conducted for SEMA Chief Executives and other members of staff of NEMA and those of its partner Agencies. Furthermore, this training has become timely as we begin our preparedness for another cycle of the annually recurring flood disasters in Nigeria. I am therefore, extremely glad that the promise I made has today become a reality.”
He explained that “BUDMC is a premier institution that provides world-class training and technical assistance on disaster management to help reduce risk, build resilience and ensure rapid and sustainable recovery when disasters strike. The NEMA collaboration with the Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre which dates back to 2009 has continued to grow from strength to strength.”
He therefore advised the participants on the training that it “will certainly enable you learn new ideas and paradigms and also extend your network and fraternity amongst experts in the novel field of disaster management and humanitarian service delivery. I commend all the NEMA staff that have worked assiduously to make this event possible,” the DG NEMA added.
Earlier in his welcome speech, the Director Human Resource Management NEMA Alhaji Musa Zakari appreciated the DG NEMA Mustapha Habib Ahmed for his foresight in approving the seminar and thanked Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre for their partnership to improve capacity towards efficient disaster management in Nigeria.
The Director BUDMC Dr Richard Gordon who led the team of resource persons for the training also gave remark at the occasion said they were delighted to support towards improving disaster management in Nigeria.