By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA–THE federal government, Monday, took delivery of disaster risk reduction equipment from the Government of Japan.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, received the specialized equipment and vehicles donated through the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
The equipment are for search and rescue of persons in distress.
The induction took place on Monday at the Nigerian Army Resource Center Abuja during the presentation of the 2020 Annual Report of NEMA.
The equipment presented to the minister included nine units of rescue vehicles with rescue equipment and four units of mobile water purifier systems with vehicles.
In her remark, the minister congratulated the Director General of NEMA, Muhammadu Alhaji Muhammed for a successful one year in office as well as the timely report from NEMA , which she said was in line with the extant laws that require NEMA to publicly present their annual report in the first quarter of every succeeding year.
She said:“I will like to acknowledge and commend NEMA for having the 2020 Annual Report ready on time which serves as a clear commitment of the leadership to the principles of transparency and accountability.
“Interestingly, the Director General/CEO has just completed a full year in office. The presentation of this report today is by no means a coincidence but apparently showcases your dedication and optimal service in the agency so far”.
The minister also admonished the Director General to reflect on the content of the report and forge ahead to exceed the successes recorded.
“As we all align our duties to support the policy drive of the President in alleviating the plight of our vulnerable citizens and ultimately reduce poverty to the barest minimum, especially at the grassroots level, I admonish you to reflect on the content of the report to exceed the successes recorded.
“We are all aware of the effects of many disasters faced last year, including those related to insurgency, floods, banditry, communal disturbances, windstorms and ENDSARS violence, but most especially that of the Corona Virus Pandemic (COVID-19). These were some of the major focus of NEMA’s activities in the year under review.
Having personally led in some of the field activities, I am in a reasonable position of authority to congratulate the agency for a job well done”.
Earlier, the DG NEMA noted that the novel Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID 19) pandemic ravaged the world leading to a complete lockdown of activities throughout the globe.
AVM Muhammed stated that a total of 2,353,647 people were affected by the 2020 flood disaster while the Agency delivered humanitarian support to 148 incidents where assessments were carried out, approved and relief materials distributed to the affected persons.
“These are in addition to the monthly distribution of relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons living in camps in Borno and Adamawa States.
“Equally today, NEMA is inducting comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction equipment for search and rescue across the federation. Some of these equipment were donated by the Japanese Government. Staff of NEMA have been trained on the usage of these specialized vehicles by experts from Toyota Tsusho Corporation of Japan. The mobile water purifiers systems were duly deployed during the 2018 and 2019 flood disaster for provision of drinking water to Internally Displaced Persons.
“NEMA on its part has added value to this specialized equipment by attaching a unit each of an alternative source of light (the floodlights) for illumination during night operations. This is to ensure a one-stop shop for search and rescue operation in assisting the primary response stakeholders”.
The Japanese government represented by the Chargé d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Nigeria, Mr. Shinozawa Takayuki, said that the decision to strengthen disaster risk reduction worldwide was taken at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Japan in March 2015.
“On that occasion, the Government of Japan pledged USD 4 billion financial cooperation and training of 40,000 government officials and local leaders in four years. Hence, this project we are commissioning today, which is worth a total of JPY 500 million meant to support Nigeria’s efforts to equip NEMA and other emergency operation centres with disaster reduction related products of Japanese enterprises, is part of the fulfilment of that pledge for Nigeria”.