By Gabriel Ewepu
THE National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, yesterday, disclosed that it has braced up for emergencies across the country by building staff capacity on professionalism and proactive emergency response.
Speaking at the 2019 NEMA Staff Retreat held in Keffi, Nasarawa State, with theme, ‘Re-engineering the Agency for Effective and Proactive Disaster Management’, North-Central Zonal Director, NEMA, Bitrus Samuel, assured residents in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, and other states in the zone that the agency is prepared and ready to respond proactively and rapidly to any emergency situation.
Representatives from Benue, Nasarawa, Niger and FCT attended the two-day retreat.
He said: “It is a re-engineering effort of the present administration under the leadership of Engr Mustapha Maihaja. His key priority since he came is to reposition and re-engineer the organisation to be a standard emergency management outfit.
“His priority has been to increase the capacity of the staff through training and retreats like this to share experiences to see how all of us can together take disaster management to the next level.
“We want to be a more professional outfit and the whole idea is to boost our capacity to do more and elevate our current level of expertise. We cannot but continue to develop because techniques used to address and tackle disasters in the global arena has also evolved.
“This retreat would afford the staff the platform to understand the direction which the organization is going so everyone would be able to fit in and key into a proactive disaster management organization.”
He also maintained that the agency is not overwhelmed by the recent burning of its fire truck and ambulance by Shi’ite protesters in Abuja, but rather is more prepared to respond to emergencies in FCT and other neighbouring states under the zone.
Also speaking at the event, consultant, Adekunle Oni tasked the federal government to improve the welfare of workers in the public service and those who are retirees in order to effectively tackle corruption.
“Before the Gen Mohammed Murtala purge of 1975, public servant don’t own house or businesses, they relied on government job and were living in government quarters. When they were pushed out of government quarters, they had nowhere to go meaning they were not corrupt.