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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for the introduction of Disaster Management as an undergraduate course in the country’s universities and polytechnics.

Mustapha Maihaja
Mustapha Maihaja, Director General, NEMA

NEMA Head of Imo/Abia Operations Office, Mr Evans Ugoh, made the call during a joint disaster stakeholders’ meeting organised by the agency on Monday, March 9, 2020 in Owerri, the Imo State capital.

Ugo said the measure would help build capacities of future disaster managers in the country.

He said the call to introduce disaster management in school curriculum became necessary following rising incidences of disaster in the country.

He said, “If disaster management is part of universities and polytechnics degree and diploma causes respectively, it would help in facilitating efficiency in disaster management.”

On Coronavirus, the NEMA official said Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Health and Centre for Disease Control, were doing enough to prevent the spread of the virus.

He warned Nigerians to adhere strictly to the directives on prevention of coronavirus, Lassa fever and other epidemic diseases.

He commended the Director General of NEMA, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, for facilitating seminars and workshops at the zonal and state levels to enhance efficiency in disaster management.

Some participants called for effective communication among disaster management stakeholders and identified poor staff attitude to work as a major challenge against disaster management.

They also urged government agencies with more heavy equipment to be part of disaster stakeholders and advocated Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between government and private companies for timely assistance during emergencies.

Among those who participated in the programme were representatives of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Red Cross Society of Nigeria.

Others were State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Centre for Communication, Ministry of Health, and Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

By Ikechukwu Iweajunwa

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