January 29, 2023

Be wary of floods this year, NEMA tells Nigerians


… asks stakeholders to brace-up, prepare

By Fortune Eromosele, ABUJA

The Director-General National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmed has advised Nigerians as well as relevant stakeholders to brace-up and prepare to mitigate against the likelihood of flood this year.

He gave the advice against the backdrop of the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction released last week by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NiMET, which indicated that there will be normal to above normal rainfall in some states this year.

The NEMA DG who spoke in Abuja, weekend, at the close of the International Disaster Management Executive Seminar for Nigerian Emergency Management Stakeholders organized by NEMA with facilitators from Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC), said it was imperative for state governments to support their own State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) to be operationally ready and also establish Local Emergency Committees (LEMCs) for grassroots participation in disaster management.

Ahmed added that the Agency has already begun its preparation against flooding and any form of disasters.

He said, “This year I expect stakeholders including the state governments to ensure early preparation and to match words with action.”

While commending the course participants and resource persons for a robust engagement, he advised the Heads of SEMAs that participated at the seminar to cascade the knowledge gained to their various states.

The NEMA DG said the seminar was conceived to improve the capacity of disaster managers and specifically packaged to address common challenges in Nigeria with world class ideas.

A team member from BUDMC Professor Lee Miles who spoke on behalf of the facilitators said the 5-day intense engagement covered important and practical areas of disaster management that would benefit the nation. 

Also speaking on behalf of the participants, Chairman of Bayelsa State Emergency Management Agency, Walaman Sam Igrubia appreciated the DG NEMA for the foresight in organizing the seminar.

He said that the lessons learnt would immensely benefit states in their preparation and response to disasters. He also appealed for NEMA to sustain the kind gesture of capacity development for SEMAs.

The Seminar was organized by NEMA with facilitators from Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC) United Kingdom and participants drawn from Heads of State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs); all Heads of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Zonal, Territorial and Operations offices; selected staff from all departments and representatives of stakeholder agencies.