The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has been directed by the National Economic Council (NEC) to help state and local governments put in place emergency management units to manage disaster before the arrival NEMA.
He said the directive was prompted by a presentation made by the Director-General of NEMA, Mohammed Sani Sidi on the need to decentralize the functions of the agency to local and state governments.
Fayemi, however, maintained that the establishment of SEMA and Local Emergency Committees (LEMCs) by state and local governments respectively would provide effective and speedy disaster management in the country.
“The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) briefed Council on steps that are being taken to provide effective and speedy disaster management in Nigeria and the role and relationship between NEMA and various State Emergency Management Agencies, particularly in terms of clarifying the laws backing State Emergency Agencies and ensuring that all States are encouraged to set up structures and institutions that would enable them response to emergencies in a speedy and efficient manner.
“NEMA also was asked to provide technical support, not just disaster relief after the facts, but technical support for these emergencies at the local level and necessary training to aid the States establish the State SEMA and then the Local Government Emergency Management Committees.”
According to him, the council also directed the Federal Ministry of Finance and state commissioners of finance to discuss details of the government’s Ecological Fund allocations to states to provide enough funding for SEMA and LEMCs.
Fayemi also stressed the need for the country to develop a “Disaster Management Protocol” to raise the level of awareness of the people on the implication of emergency situations.
Lagos and Bauchi states already have the proposed state controlled emergency management units but will have to go a step further in creating local units.