Some members of the House of Representatives have called for improved funding of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to enable the agency expand its scope of activities for better delivery.
The House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness believed that the upgraded funds would help the agency carry out its strategic duties of threat identification, warning, prevention and post conflict settlement among others.
The lawmakers made the appeal at a retreat on disaster management held in Jos, the Plateau State capital in north-central Nigeria.
Chairman of the committee, Representative Isa Ali, expressed concern that the agency has been underfunded over the years and appealed for an upgrade for better performance.
On his part, the Director General of NEMA, Mr Sani Sidi, highlighted the agency’s uniqueness in managing Internal Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria, which he said were over two million.
Amendment Of NEMA Act
The retreat is an annual event organised by the agency, and also a platform for interaction between NEMA and the lawmakers to share ideas on ways of enhancing the performance of the agency.
It is also a gathering convened to look into its legislative and budgetary support, considering the enormous tasks facing the agency in terms of tackling nature and human induced disasters in Nigeria.
Stakeholders at the session have called for the amendment of NEMA Act to help the institution cope with emerging trends in disaster management, with emphasis on acquiring modern equipment.
They also solicited for improved welfare packages with insurance scheme for staff of the agency, as well as the establishment of a National Emergency Management Trust Fund with a board of trustee to manage the fund.
The Presidency has refuted claims by some aid agencies that there is mass starvation in IDP camps set up in northeast Nigeria.
A statement from the Presidency says it is concerned about the attempts to whip up fears that the humanitarian crisis is worse than being reported.
While it recognizes that local and international humanitarian responders including the United Nations have done an immeasurable amount of effort filling in the gaps wherever they existed, the federal government says it is not true that 100,000 or even a million people will die because government is unable to provide care at the camps.
The Presidency says it is handling the situation with great sensitivity and has put measures in place to cushion the humanitarian challenges with collaboration between NEMA and the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative.
Both organisations provide raw food items to IDPs at formal camps, self-settled centers, host communities and satellite centers while the state governments complement with condiments, firewood and maintain environmental quality of the IDP camps.
About 80,709 Nigerian refugees, mostly from Borno State, in the Republic of Cameroon, have received 1,460 bags of assorted food items from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The items, which were delivered at the weekend, were handed over to the displaced persons on behalf of the Nigerian government for the feeding of the refugees displaced by Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria’s northeast.
They are taking shelter in Minawao and other locations in the far north region of Cameroon.
According to the Director General of NEMA, Muhammad Sidi, who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore SBB Muhammad, handed over the items to officials of Cameroon for onward presentation to the United Nations High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR) which has been managing the camp.
He said the items were meant to provide succour to the Nigerian refugees.
In his message, the Director General said NEMA would continue to liaise with the Government of the Republic of Cameroon to ensure that all Nigerian refugees were living in good condition.
Mr Muhammed appealed to youths in the camps to desist from using drugs and urged them to always “be of good character and be good ambassadors of our country”. Some youths in the camp were recently arrested for drug use.
He assured the refugees that the Nigerian government had not forgotten them and that the government was doing everything possible to evacuate them back to their respective states.
The NEMA boss also thanked the Republic of Cameroon, INGOs and UNHCR on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria for hosting and providing them with protection.
Speaking through an interpreter, an official of the Government of Cameroon, who received the items, Mrs Menguene Marie, appreciated the Nigerian government for providing succour to its citizens and also thanked the government of Cameroon for its support to the refugees.
Appreciating the efforts of the Nigerian Government, Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Refugees, Mr Asshigar Mohd, from Bama Local Government, said: “We have been in Minawao camp for three years, we do have regular feeding, have school and hospital, but we want leaders of our communities back home to visit us”.
He appealed to the Nigerian government to evacuate them to their places in Borno State since peace had returned in most of the communities.
The items delivered include 650 bags of rice, 300 bags of Guinea corn, 200 bags of Millet, 150 bags of Beans, 10 bags of Ground nut, 50 bags of flour, 50 bags of sugar and 50 bags of salt.
Others include 100 cartons of tinned tomato, 50 cartons of Maggi Cubes, 150 cartons of spaghetti, 150 cartons of bath soap and 50 cartons of vegetable oil.
‘Provided With Humanitarian Relief’
At least 239,000 Nigerians are still refugees in neighbouring countries where they fled to in the heat of insurgency in the oil-rich nation’s northeast, an emergency management agency has said.
The figure was contained in a report of humanitarian relief intervention by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) released recently.
It also says that about 29, 581 Nigerians, who fled their communities in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to Republic of Niger and Cameroon as a result of insurgents’ activities had voluntarily returned to Nigeria.
According to the report, 13,046 Nigerians returned from Niger Republic in May, 2015 and were received in Geidam, Yobe State while Between April and December, 2015 NEMA received about 16,595 Nigerians that have voluntarily returned from Cameroon through the Sahuda border crossing area near Mubi in Adamawa State.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Nigeria believes the Federal and State governments are better prepared to avert a humanitarian crisis after recent flood alerts.
The Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, expressed hopes of government’s readiness during an emergency humanitarian coordination forum held on Tuesday.
At the forum were different agencies of government and some international agencies and talks focused on contingency plans in response to the flood alert.
Mr Sidi said the early warning provided must be matched with early action.
Some of the devastation left behind by the flood disaster that occurred in 2012 were considered and in a bid to avert recurrence, the forum participants worked on an action plan.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency had issued a flood alert few days ago.
Charting a course for discussions at the meeting, the Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, Moses Beckley, read out figures his agency had in relation to the flood of 2012.
A presentation was also made on the flood alert, the contingency plan that has been put in place and the role of the different agencies involved.
The Director General of NEMA said a lot of work was being done with the state governments to avert humanitarian crisis.
A few things that have been made clear at the meeting was that time was short, local action was very important and that just cleaning drainages would go a long way to ensure that the coming flood would not lead to humanitarian crisis.
The Military has begun the process of reintegrating repentant members of the Boko Haram sect into the society.
The rehabilitation is part of the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government to rebuild Nigeria’s Northeast region, following terrorists’ attacks that have caused devastating damage in the region.
The National Security Council has mandated the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin, to receive the repentant terrorists with a view to rehabilitating them.
The Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshal Emmanuel Anebi, who represented General Olonisakin, received various items for usage in the camp situated in Gombe, northeast Nigeria.
He said the programme, Operation Safe Corridor, was designed to receive surrendering Boko Haram members and take them through a process that would reintegrate them back to the society.
The Chairman of Operation Safe Corridor, Brigadier General Bamidele Shafa and the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, hinted that series of programmes have been earmarked for the process.
They reeled out different vocations and skill acquisition programmes to be held on camp towards reintegrating the repentant combatants into the society.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said that it has contributed its quota to the programme to make the camp conducive for the repentant militants.
Director General of NEMA, Mr Sani Sidi, disclosed that the agency has donated several items ranging from food and edibles to bedding materials as well as resource persons and camp officials required to carter for them.
The repentant terrorists now have a chance to begin normal life again, even as the military is currently conducting mop-up operations to clear the remnants of the terrorists.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is conducting a needs assessment tour in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno State.
The assessment is coming on the heels of recent victories recorded by the Nigerian Army and outcry by the displaced persons insisting on returning to their original localities.
The Director General of NEMA, Mohammed Sidi, made the disclosure on Thursday during a two-day working visit to Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
He said that Borno State accounted for 90% of the total number of displaced persons in northeast Nigeria.
Mr Sidi explained that the number of displaced persons in Maiduguri has been on the rise with an average of 20 new births recorded in a camp accommodating 12,000 people.
He also stressed that the recent victories recorded by the Nigerian Army have changed the face of humanitarian efforts which resulted to rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs.
Sharing their experience on camp, one of the IDPs, Maryam Mohammed, who is a widow said, “The problem is measles, seven out of my nine kids are down with measles right now.
“The truth is sometimes they attend to us and give us drugs when we visit the camp hospital, but other times they are not available.”
Another displaced person, Hamsatu Umar, said, “I need clothes and a sleeping mat with some money. I am old and I feel very sick that is why I need them to attend to me quickly so I can go back to my tent.”
The insurgency victim added that the harsh weather has been responsible for the illnesses in the camp, stressing that she went for some relief materials the previous day but could not get anything.
In furtherance to this, NEMA has called for deployment of medical personnel to IDPs camps within Maiduguri, the host communities and satellite camps in liberated communities with emphasis on children, maternal care and vulnerable persons.
The new satellite camps are located in Dikwa, Mafa, Damboa, Baga, Bama, Gwoza, Askira Uba, Damboa, Beneishek, Gamboru, Mongunu and Konduga.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for policies that would help address the humanitarian crisis in north-east Nigeria.
This appeal was made by the Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, at a joint meeting with the military, African Union and other civil organisations in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr Sidi stressed the need for a framework that would support responses to the humanitarian crisis in the north-east and other crisis ridden parts of Africa.
According to him, the meeting was organised to discuss a framework to solve the humanitarian crisis both in the north-east and elsewhere.
A representative of the African Union at the meeting, Mr Jeanine Cooper, said the meeting would strengthen an already existing collaboration between the military and civilians in responding to humanitarian crisis.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has emphasised the need for joint efforts among humanitarian agencies tackling the Boko Haram insurgency.
At a two-day event powered by the Presidential Initiative on Northeast Nigeria as well as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) held in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, VP Osinbajo talked about the challenges of rebuilding the disturbed region.
The meeting, which had the Governors of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states as well as Deputy Governors of Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba states in attendance, was organised to develop and adopt a plan as well as national response to issues surrounding insurgency in the Northeast.
It was also aimed to foster coordination among humanitarian agencies with a view to ensuring comprehensive and efficient coverage.
The Vice President, however, expressed the Federal government’s commitment to meaningful partnerships that would bring lasting solutions to the insurgency and its attendant effects.
The Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, noted that the population of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria is ranked third highest in the world, hence recent efforts to resettle IDPs in their original homes.
A representative of the World Health Organization in Nigeria (WHO), Rati Ndlovu, stressed the agency’s satisfaction with local efforts in cushioning the post insurgency effects.
The Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, also expressed optimism that the Nigerian troops are winning the war against the insurgents.
The National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, has donated relief materials to flood victims in Kebbi State, North-west Nigeria.
The development is coming after an estimated 21, 450 people were displaced by the recent torrent disaster, as the state is said to be the worst hit so far this year.
According to NEMA’s latest report on Kebbi’s flood, two communities in Makera Local Government Area (LGA) were completely dislodged from the flood in addition to 150 hectares of farmland, 480 houses destroyed and 4500 persons displaced.
The Director General of NEMA, Sani Sidi, disclosed that a total of 37, 460 hectares of farmland covering about 10 LGAs of the state, along with over 5,000 houses were washed away by the flood.
However, NEMA believed that more analysis may reveal further discovery of affected victims which prompted the agency to deploy a large amount of relief materials involving food items, medical facilities, as well as emergency sheltering equipment.
Receiving the materials, Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu, revealed that the State government had so far spent over 200 million Naira in managing the crisis across the affected areas.
Governor Bagudu noted that the government is looking for a way to manage the lost incurred mostly by the farmers.
He added that the State government had entered into partnership with the Sokoto State government, to see the possibility of improving water management within the two states.
As Kebbi State is set to experience food shortage, the government has prepared to embark on massive food supply for people in the state.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has donated relief items to the flood victims of Seven Local Governments in Katsina State.
Director General of NEMA, Mohammed Sidi, asked residents of the area to heed the warnings of the Meteorological Agency to prevent a recurrence.
Items distributed include food items, toiletries, bedding and building materials.
Present at the meeting to distribute the materials, were officials of the State Government, Traditional Rulers and community dwellers.
While commiserating with the people over the loss of lives and properties, Mr Sidi, however, advised that warnings on weather conditions be taken seriously.
The hardship caused by the flood has left many still in shock.
Mr Yauu Saleh lost his daughter when a wall collapsed, following the flood.
While government officials hope that the relief materials gets to those affected, the victims appealed to the State Government not to relent in sensitisation of communities on the dangers of building on drainage.
The United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator and United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Mr Daouda Toure, have urged the international community to scale up support for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria’s north-east.
Mr Toure made the appeal against the backdrop of the 2015 World Humanitarian Day.
The UN Representative also underscored the challenges of access to IDPs in the troubled regions, owing to heightened insecurity.
He noted that the issue of access must be addressed by the government to ensure greater development, investment and reconstruction of the north-east region.
It is recorded that the insurgency and violence in places like Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States have displaced nearly 1.5 million people from their communities, which is almost the populations of some states in Nigeria.
Their displacement was caused by acts of terrorism by members of the Boko Haram sect. They are trying to establish and Islamic State and end western education in the region.
The UN against the 2015 World Humanitarian Day, canvassed for greater reinforcement against such abhorring act.
The Director General of the National Emergency Management Authority, Sanni Sidi, however noted, the dwindling support in the country towards the IDPs, which is a long way to solving the underlying challenge in the north-east.
Just as the Federal Government has promised to end insurgency in three months, the military and a host of other stakeholders have stressed the need for the wherewithal to be equally made available.
The items donated by NEMA on behalf of the Federal Government came as part of measures to enhance their speedy treatment.
The donation was made by the Director General of NEMA, Dr Mohammed Sidi, on Sunday, when he visited the victims at the Federal Medical Centre, Gombe, in company of the State Governor, Ibrahim Dakwambo.
He said his visit was to assess the impact of the blast and also commiserate with the State government and people of Gombe State over the unfortunate incident.
He prayed for the quick recovery of the injured ones and commended the hospital management for its prompt intervention in trying to save the lives of the victims.
Governor Dakwambo expressed shock that the suicide bombers could gain access inside the motor park, despite the water tight security put in place by the motor park officials.
He then promised that the State government would bear the cost of treatment of the victims, advising transport workers to ensure adequate security at their various motor parks so as to avoid future attacks by the insurgents.
The Chief Medial Director of the hospital also assured Governor Dakwambo and the NEMA officials that the victims were in stable condition.