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Sidi: Managing disaster

From 2010 to date, he has continued to sustain the delivery of excellent leadership in tackling the increasing disaster situations in the country. No sooner…

From 2010 to date, he has continued to sustain the delivery of excellent leadership in tackling the increasing disaster situations in the country.
No sooner had he settled down to work than the October 1st, 2010 explosion during Independence Day celebration occurred in Abuja. He immediately swung into action, and was on ground in the management of the humanitarian needs arising from that incidence. Thereon, he was faced with the tasks of handling many other worst man-made and natural induced disasters in Nigeria. These, he continued to manage successfully through courage, positive attitudes and zeal for service to humanity. In each situation, he ensures that the focus of saving lives and property are responsibly carried out without delays.  For most of them, the Director General would personally lead the operations by assembling necessary resources, organizations and equipment. To enhance NEMA’s search and rescue operations, he facilitated the acquisition of critical assets including additional helicopter, air and mobile life saving ambulances and strategic stockpiling of emergency relief materials in Abuja and the zonal offices of the agency throughout the country. Some of the newly acquired equipment included excavators, air ambulance and Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICU) which have been distributed to the zonal and operations offices and readied for immediate deployment at short notice.
Sidi who turned 47 recently has severally demonstrated uncommon passion for the humanitarian tasks by going the extra miles often times when necessary even against normal convenience. In addition to heading the response efforts of NEMA to the 2012 devastating flood, the DG was also part of the Presidential Technical Committee that visited most of the worst hit locations to identify the damages, facilitate the immediate succour and recommend necessary measures to forestall future occurrences. He was also at hand in conducting the president and later the vice president round some of the Camps of the Displaced Persons (IDPs). In 2011, he cut short his religious obligations in Saudi Arabia and returned to personally coordinate the responses to the flood that occurred in Ibadan, Oyo State. This year following the prediction of likely floods in some communities, he has not rested but continued to visit most of the areas at risks to create the awareness and also advocate for early preparations and relocation, where necessary. He has also ensured the setting up of official camps to accommodate persons that may be displaced by flood this year and prevent the use of public schools and worship centres where basic supplies such as food, medicaments, clothing, etc which are already stocked  could be distributed to them.
The outlook of disaster management in Nigeria has been transformed to me more proactive, with emphasis on disaster risk reduction, timely intervention, collectivism, humane and based on the standard of international best practices. While building on the foundations laid by his predecessors, Sidi has fine tuned the process, institutional frameworks, human capacity, equipment and basic facilities required for efficient and effective disaster management. Special attention is given to disaster early warning, preparations, mitigation, response and recovery. Some of the plans, procedures, systems and guidelines developed under his leadership include the National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP), the Search and Rescue and Epidemic Evacuation Plan for Nigeria, the National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Draft Guideline and Procedures for the use of military assets and personnel during emergencies, the National Disaster Management Framework (NDMF) and the National Contingency Plan for Nigeria. Others are the National Contingency Plan on Infrastructural Resuscitation, the National Nuclear and Radiological Emergency Plan and the Lake Nyos Disaster Response Manual.
Coordination of resources for disaster management which is one of the main mandates of NEMA received a boost under the leadership of the Director General. Through his effort, relevant organizations and groups are becoming more alert to their roles in the desired synergy for better service delivery. He uses every opportunity to remind that disaster management is everybody’s business.  
The agency also carried out several international interventions that included the evacuation of    In recognition of the position of NEMA as the flagship of disaster management and humanitarian service delivery in the West Africa Sub-Region, Sidi was elected in June 2013 to Chair the West African Association of Disaster Management Agencies (GECEAO).
Until his appointment in September 2010, Sani Sidi was a member of the Kaduna State Executive Council where he was the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism. He had also served as commissioners for Environment and Natural Resources as well as for Works.  
Prior to his appointment into the Kaduna State cabinet, he served as special Adviser to the Minister of Finance between 2003 to 2007 having been a senior manager in the then National Electric Power Authority.
    
 Ezekiel, a staff of NEMA, wrote from Abuja,
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