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Flood: NEMA signs pact with NESREA, NOA on disaster management

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with National Orientation Agency (NOA) and National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) towards fighting…

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with National Orientation Agency (NOA) and National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) towards fighting disasters and flooding in particular, in Nigeria.

The agreement was signed on Friday (today) at the NEMA headquarters in Abuja.

Speaking at the event, the Director-General of NEMA, Mohammad Sani Sidi said the MOU will go a long way in helping to reduce and manage disasters in the country.

Over N2.1 trillion was lost, over 7 million people affected while more than 500, 000 houses were destroyed by flood in Nigeria last year.

Earlier this year, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) warned of a repeat of last year’s floods in some states with some already witnessing the disaster.

But the NEMA boss who said last year’s losses were regrettable, expressed optimism that the collaboration between the three agencies will reduce the effects of the disaster this year.

“We can’t afford to have a repeat of last year. As a result of what happened last year, we [NEMA, NESREA and NOA] have decided to come together as a team so that we can carry out early sensitization with a view to take early actions to reduce the impacts of flooding in 2013.”

While highlighting the benefits of the partnership, Sani Sidi assured that NEMA will carry out its own responsibilities as contained in the MOU.

 

Environmental corruption

The Director-General of NOA, Mike Omeri accused Nigerians of engaging in “Environmental corruption.”

He insisted that Nigerians’ negative attitudes to their environments are posing serious challenges to the government, stressing that government’s efforts to fight disasters would be in vain except Nigerians change their attitudes.

The NOA boss said the MOU will strengthen government’s capacity to control environmental disasters.

While promising to fully implement the agreement, he urged other government agencies which have disaster management as part of their functions to join the collaboration.

Similarly, the Director-General of NESREA, Dr. Mgeri Benebo highlighted the importance of the collaboration but was fast to advise that efforts should be placed on prevention.

“The developed world has the capacity to control disaster but Nigeria doesn’t. So,  emphasis should be placed on prevention.”

Dr. Benebo who said the signing of the MOU was a movement from rhetorics to “real action” in the fight against disasters, also promised that NESRA will fulfill its own part of the agreement.