BY AKINDELE TOYIN OROBOLA
The Office of the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Disaster Risk Reduction says it will support Nigeria in building capacities of local governments’ response to disasters.
Ms Mami Mizutori, the Special Representative, said this when she led her team on a visit to Mr Mustapha Ahmed, Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), in Abuja.
She said that the visit was necessary to discuss ways to operationalise the Early Warning Centre recently launched at the ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja.
Mizutori said that, though the country was prone to various forms of disasters, it had remained a model of better and working emergency management.
According to her, it is important for the country to build more resilience to disaster by ensuring that all stakeholders collaborate on actionable early warning systems.
“We are going to work on many things but we are going to work on local resilience of the cities and local governments of Nigeria, which is very important.
“This is because they are the first responders and they also need to build that better.
“We are going to work to build the capacities of the local governments and their team so that there is much more resilience in their local cities,” the special representative said.
On his part, Mr Mustapha Ahmed, the NEMA boss, appreciated the team for the visit, adding that it had broadened the agency’s understanding of global best practices in disaster risk management.
According to Ahmed, the dominant hazards in the country such as flood, windstorm, erosion, drought, and building collapse, among others, remains a threat to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
He said that continuous support and collaboration would guide and motivate the agency to drive disaster risk management and reduce disasters in the country.
“I want to assure you once more that NEMA is committed to the actualisation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the African Programme of Action.
“Notwithstanding all your support, NEMA will continue to request for more partnerships from you to enable us meet up with our local and international obligations on Disaster Risk Reduction and Disaster Risk Management,” he said.