Lawmakers Solicit Better Funding For NEMA

NEMA, House of Representatives, LawmakersSome 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.

Bill Gates Foundation Donates 1Million Dollars To Borno IDPs

IDPsThe Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation have given the Borno State government a grant of one million dollars, meant for resettling the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Borno State.

The foundation is aimed at targeting displaced victims of insurgency ready to return to their ancestral homes.

The intervention was released through the Rebuilding and Reconstruction Ministry of the State, constituted for resettling the IDPs.

Governor Kashim Shettima flagged off distribution of food items in Mainok town where locals are already returning in large numbers.

Nearly two million people, dislodged from their home towns, in remote parts of Borno State by insurgency, had found temporary shelter in the capital city and safer havens in nearby states.

The recent military successes and recapture of some of the troubled towns has paved way for locals to return to their home towns.

Residents of Mainok town in Kaga Local Government Area are happy to return home after nearly two years sojourn in makeshift camps.

Governor Kashim Shettima said aside food items farmlands have been procured in the first phase of the intervention, to enable the IDPS continue with their lifestyles.

One of the IDPs, Halimatu Ali in appreciation said, “We are grateful, we have never received any kind of help since we returned, we only hear about it until today. We thank Bill and we pray for him.”

Child soldiers brandishing Dane guns and unconventional weapons is a common sight in Mainok, even as the Civilian JTF leave nothing to chance in their quest to totally rid the town of criminals.

From their experiences with remnants of the insurgents since their return, they are requesting equipment and vehicles to boost the complementary roles with the military.

A member of the CJTF, Umar Mustapha said “We the Civilian JTF always go round on patrol and interrogate suspicious people around, we have made several arrests and handed the criminals to the military. If we had vehicles, we can even go after them in the bush.”

Mainok, barely 70 kilometers to Maiduguri has been a stronghold for the Boko Haram insurgents from where they attack travellers, shutting Maiduguri from other parts of the country until early last year when they were dislodged.