The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammad Sani Sidi , has said that one of the major challenges the agency has been facing was responding to the current humanitarian crisis resulting from insurgency in the North East and criminal activities in the North west, particularly in Zamfara State.
He disclosed this at the annual retreat organized for Members of the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness in Jos, Plateau State.
San Sidi said “this year has been challenging just like last year, we have been occupied responding to the issues in North east and North west, particularly Zamfara State’’.
He observed that Nigerian displacement was unique around the world, as only about 10% of the displaced persons were living in official camps while the majority of them were being hosted by relatives and host communities.
He said “Insurgency is new to us as a people and as a country, managing its consequence will certainly be new to us, but we are learning and I want to assure you that we are learning fast as an agency and as a country”.
“I know that there is no way as an agency can perform effectively and efficiently without the support and collaboration of the distinguished Honourable Members. Therefore, this is a platform that enables us to enlighten and create awareness and to mention some of the challenges that we face and some of the good advices we can get from you,” he said.
The Chairman of the committee, represented by the Vice Chairman, Hon. Ali Isa (JC) in his remarks, said the retreat was an annual event where members are briefed by the Zonal Coordinators and head of operations offices on disaster and challenges around the country.
He said, “I strongly believe that with the little resources the agency receives, it has been very effective in handling most of emergency cases in the country”. He said the committee will look at the Act of the agency with a view to enhance and improve the functions of the agency.
Highlights of the event included presentations on: Emerging Issues and dynamics of Emergency Management in Multi-crises Environment: Option for the North East, by Mr. Soji Adeniyi, and the Imperative of Improved Legislative Framework for NEMA by the agency’s legal adviser.
The retreat is an annual event organised by the agency to enlighten the committee members on the activities of the agency and challenges faced in the year under review.