It is my singular honor and privilege to on behalf of Staff and Management of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) welcome you to this very important expert’s technical meeting to develop preparedness and mitigation strategies to tackle climate related disasters for the 2023 rainy season. The strategic plan we intend to develop is predicated on the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP) released by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on 24 January, 2023 and Annual Flood Outlook (AFO) released by Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on 17° February, 2023.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, NiMet and NIHSA have over the years proved to be strategic partners of NEMA in the production of hydro-meteorological disaster early warning message to support disaster risk management in Nigeria. I want to use this medium to congratulate and appreciate NiMet and NIHSA for the timely release of this year’s predictions which will inspire early action against climate risks in the numerous vulnerable communities of Nigeria.
There is no doubt that today’s meeting has become more relevant and timely in consideration of our recent experiences of wide spread floods and related disasters that have affected several states of Nigeria. The 2022 flood disaster which is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria has wreaked havoc in all the states of country. Many of the affected
communities are still yet to recover from the impacts of the devastating event. The 2022 flood disaster coupled with its associated hazards is therefore a wakeup call for emergency responders, development Agencies and partners to work assiduously to avert a repeat of the incident especially in consideration of the heightened level of vulnerability in several communities of our country.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I am convinced that the experts we have assembled here will come up with a comprehensive and well articulated early warning messages to the public. This will include vulnerability and risk mapping which can be downscaled to States and Local Governments authorities, NEMA partners and the general public. We cannot rest on ours until we have built a critical mass of resilient Nigerian citizens. Citizens that are conscious of their duty for care to one another and willing to take those actions that will save lives and safeguard livelihoods in the event of imminent disasters.
As emergency managers we must always strive to develop clear and practical early warning systems that will enable our partners and the public to match early warning with early action to avert loss of lives and severe disaster impacts across socio-economic sectors. This becomes necessary in the face ever growing climatic and extreme weather events as powered by climate change and variability not only in Nigeria but across the world.
| want to use this opportunity to thank our esteemed partners here present for consistently working with NEMA in the onerous task of disaster risk management in Nigeria. I make bold to say that without your consistent support and collaboration with NEMA, the impacts of both nature and human induced disasters could have been more devastating in Nigeria. I therefore appreciate your support and assure you that NEMA will continue to coordinate our collective resolve to build a well informed and resilient citizens in Nigeria. No one can do it alone, but collectively we can build a safer and better resilient nation. As the saying goes; a good half of the art of living is resilience.
| once more welcome you and wish you fruitful engagement and cross fertilization of ideas to come up with very clear disaster preparedness and mitigation strategies as we prepare for the imminent onset of the 2023 rainy season.
Thank you and God bless.