The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Habib Ahmed, has said 662 people lost their lives to flood in 2022 while 2,430,445 were displaced.
He said another 3,174 people suffered various degrees of injuries during the flood disaster.
Ahmed spoke yesterday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a one-week strategic executive seminar for staff of the agency and wider Nigerian emergency management by the Bournemouth University Disaster Management Centre (BUDMC).
The DG said thousands of houses, hectares of farmlands and several critical national assets were also destroyed by the raging floods, noting that the agency, alongside the state governments and other partners, was working towards the long-term recovery of impacted communities across the nation.
He said the agency brought in experts with years of experience working both in the United Kingdom and overseas to support governments and multi-national organisations with disaster and crisis preparedness, response and recovery for the seminar.
Nigeria needs massive investments to avert a deepening crisis in education
Excitement as Buhari commissions $1.5 billion Lekki Deep Seaport
Ahmed also stated that there were likely possibilities of flooding this year but was not certain how severe it would be.
“After this training and the release of the Seasonal Climate Prediction by NiMet and the flood outlook by NIHSA and we do the risk mapping, we will write to the governors. We will identify areas and show them the areas that will be affected,” he said.
Ahmed emphasised on synergy with state governments to effectively tackle flooding and its effect.
“I believe all the 36 states must take this course; they should replicate it to the local emergency management committee that they will set up.
“We have to prepare in time. We are planning early so that we get ready early,” he added.
On his part, the Director, Human Resource Management (NEMA), Mr Musa Zakari, noted that rapid changes in climate resulted in an increase in the frequency of natural disasters across the nation.
He said the agency might need to re-examine some fundamentally new and profoundly more efficient approaches to disaster management.
Speaking at the event, the expert from BUDMC, Mr Richard Gordon, said there must be a Nigerian way of solving Nigerian disaster issues.
He said participants would be trained on various ways to manage disasters better.