The Federal Government in collaboration with UN Development Programme (UNDP) and other stakeholders is seeking to validate the National Disaster Risk Management Policy (NDMP) to effectively manage emergencies and disasters in the country.
The NDMP outlines government’s policy direction on current challenges to reducing risks from hazards facing the country and articulates government’s renewed commitment to risk reduction.
Mr Mustapha Maihaja, Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), said at the opening of a two-day workshop to validate NDMP on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 in Lagos that the document would be of immense value to stakeholders.
Maihaja, represented by Mr Benjamin Oghenah, Deputy Director, Disaster Risk Reduction, said the document was expected to promote nationally integrated strategy that would strengthen community resilience against disasters.
He said: “It will in reality address several under-served areas of disaster management that have not been adequately covered in the practice of disaster management in the country.
“Such areas range from adoption of resilience as a guideline for disaster management to the addressing of disaster management and conflict interface.
“It has been a long but meticulous journey getting to this stage and I thank you all,’’ he said.
According to him, when the document becomes fully operational, it will help to expand awareness and understanding of disaster and strengthen multi-stakeholders governances system for disaster reduction management.
In addition, he said that the document would enhance preparedness capacity to reduce exposure, vulnerability and impacts of hazards events or conditions.
He explained that the document would increase social,economic and environmental investments to strengthen resilience to disaster through hazard risk reduction.
Earlier, the General Manager of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Mr Adesina Tiamiyu, urged stakeholders to intensify sensitisation on risk reduction in the country.
Tiamiyu said people needed to know what to do and who to call in case of disasters and emergencies.
“For example, there is a policy that guides everybody on what to do and who to call in case of disaster abroad; if it works there, it should also work here.
“We (stakeholders) should collaborate with each other to sensitise the citizens on what to do and support the State Emergency Agencies (SEMAs) to deliver on their mandate,’’ he said.
Also speaking, Prof. Andrew Obafemi, Director, Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, University of Port Harcourt,urged SEMAs to be proactive in responding to emergencies in the country.
Obafemi, however, called for support for NEMA, SEMAs and other agencies working in the sector to respond effectively to manage disasters in the country.
Also, the Corps Marshall of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr Boboye Oyeyemi, told stakeholders that the Corps had intensified efforts to ensure safety of Nigerians during the yuletide.
Oyeyemi said as part of the “Ember-month programme”, the corps had re-activated emergency rescue ambulances, camps, help areas and roadside clinics.
“We have started sensitising Nigerians on what to do on unplanned journeys, night journeys and what to do in case of accidents and emergencies,’’ he said.
Oyeyemi, who was represented by the Chief Route Commander, FRSC, Chinekeokwu Cyprian, urged Nigerians to call 122 in case of any emergency.
Also, the Inspection General of Police, Ibrahim Idris,encouraged various societies and communities to help protect lives and properties of citizens.
Idris, represented by AIG Rasheed Akintude, said the stakeholders should not limit the collaboration to experts alone, adding that every Nigerian should be involved in the management of risk reduction.
The NDMP is a 10-year plan to be reviewed every five years.