February 15, 2024

Reps ask CBN, NSA others to review national disaster policy

foereign help to fight insecurity

… calls for implementation of new insurance scheme

Gift ChapiOdekina, Abuja

The House of Representatives has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Security Adviser, the National Human Rights Commission, and other Federal Government agencies to review the current disaster policy framework for national development.

This followed the adoption of a motion moved by a member representing Ijero/Ekiti West/Efon Federal Constituency, Eki State, Mr Francis Omoleye, on the floor of the House during Thursday’s plenary.

Leading the debate on the motion titled “Call for national disaster insurance scheme,” Omoleye noted that “Billions of Nigerian taxpayers’ funds have been allocated to addressing natural and artificial disasters, yet no significant relief has been provided to affected victims.”

He also added that “billions of private and public infrastructures are destroyed annually by the combined effects of floods, fire, and storms of unimaginable proportions, hence the need to address the noticeable gaps in disaster mitigation management in Nigeria.

“Aware that the National Emergency Management Agency, saddled with the management of disasters in Nigeria, has used insufficient resources to manage disasters, often resulting in insignificant budgets and being unable to mitigate the actual effects.

“The affected victims are worst off after each disaster mitigation exercise as hopes and expectations are dashed, leading to huge frustration and suicide contemplations by many, who are often occupationally and habitually displaced.

“The rise in unwholesome practices by hoodlums and bandits may be linked to the frustrations of victims whose livelihoods, such as farming and animal husbandry, have been lost without future assistance.”

The lawmakers also expressed worry that institutions responsible for risk management during emergencies are not fulfilling their expected responsibilities.

“Cognizant of the need to connect the relevant agencies to transform their risk-bearing capacity into multilateral risk-bearing capacity and influence that can put smiles on the faces of victims and having agreed that bold steps must be taken to secure citizens’ futures and address disasters affecting everyone, regardless of class, creed, or gender, and evolve a new mitigation approach; 

To this end, the House urged “The National Emergency Management Agency, Ministries of Environment, Agriculture, and Food Security, Water Resources and Sanitation, Office of the National Security Adviser, Fire Services Department, National Human Rights Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Insurance Corporation, and Representatives of Insurance Firms to re-examine the current disaster policy framework for National Development and consider implementing a new national disaster insurance scheme to ensure public confidence.”

The House also called on National Orientation Agency, the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, and the public enlightenment unit of the National Emergency Management Agency to “Embark on public enlightenment and sensitization programmes nationwide in all Nigerian languages to educate the people on early warning signals, especially on fire during the coming harmattan season.

The House also mandated its Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Appropriations, Environment, National Security and Intelligence, Finance, Water Resources, Human Rights, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.