The 36 state governors under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have resolved to collaborate with relevant agencies for a comprehensive response to the issue of flooding in the country.
The governors stated this in a communiqué issued after the NGF emergency meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, signed by its Chairman, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, and made available to newsmen on Wednesday, July 12.
AbdulRazaq said that the forum received a briefing from the Director Generals of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) on the incidence of flooding across the country.
He said that the forum also deliberated on urgent proactive measures to save lives, livelihood, critical infrastructure and safeguarding national food security.
“Members resolved to collaborate with relevant agencies at arriving at a comprehensive and federation response while leveraging the 2023 Seasonal Climate Prediction (SCP), Annual Flood Outlook (AFO), flood risk maps, and the Climate Related Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Strategy,’’ he said.
AbdulRazaq said that NEMA briefed the governors on how to achieve shared goals of building a safer and more resilient Nigeria in the face of the growing rate of occurrence of disasters globally.
He added that NEMA called on state governors to set up functional State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), Local Emergency Management Committees (LEMCs) and community volunteers with adequate legal backing, funding and trained manpower.
AbdulRazaq said that NEMA also called on governors to support knowledge, assets and experience sharing between states, the agency and other responsible partners.
“NEMA also called on governors to support the signing of Mutual Aid Agreements between States as disaster hit different geographical spaces at different times.
“To encourage private sector participation as part of its corporate social responsibility.
“Foster policy alignment and community engagement for Disaster Risk Reduction.
“According to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) every dollar invested in risk reduction and prevention can save up to $15 in post disaster recovery.’’
He said that the governors requested NEMA and NiMet to develop a comprehensive partnership framework to drive their engagement with states.
AbdulRazaq said that the forum also received the United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, in the company of Malala Yousafzai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and UN Messenger of Peace.
He said that Malala, who chose a girl-child advocacy visit to Nigeria to mark her 26th birthday, expressed her desire to see efforts at addressing gender discrimination, gender inclusion and girl-child education sustained and deepened.
AbdulRazaq said that the governors expressed their readiness to work with the UN and Malala Fund in advancing gender responsive and inclusive policies.
These, according to him, include access to quality education for girls and other affirmative action processes in the country.
He said that the governors commiserated with their Plateau and Zamfara states counterparts over the incessant killings in some parts of their states as well solicited the cooperation of all members in combating banditry across the country.
“Members also resolved to commend President Bola Tinubu for showing leadership by extending opportunity to Governors across party lines, by asking them to nominate competent people from their fold for appointment into boards of parastatals,’’ he said.
By Emmanuel Oloniruha