Vice President Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo has expressed the readiness of Nigeria to partner with the United Nations to prevent the occurrence of disaster in the country.
Arc Namadi Sambo, who received in his office the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Ms Magareta Whohlsrom that paid him a courtesy visit at the State House, Abuja, appreciated the visit stating that Prevention is always better than Cure and noted that the issue of disaster is becoming increasingly a serious issue of concern, especially with the climate change leading to disaster such as Floods, Typhoons, Earthquakes, Tornadoes the world over.
The vice president stressed that it was in recognition of the importance of climate change that President Goodluck Jonathan set up a Ministerial Committee on Climate Change with a view to tackling the negative consequences. He stated that the last floods were from Lagdo-reservoir in Cameroon and that as part of government’s efforts, the Ministry of Water Resources was designing a dam that would arrest such influx of water and curb its negative effect.
Arc Namadi Sambo added that Nigeria was engaged in River Management Control as most rivers were silted noting the strides government has made in the dredging of River Niger, while consultants have been engaged and have work for designs to dredge River Benue up to Adamawa.
The vice president noted that a lot of deliberate actions are being undertaken to address disaster management issues. He said that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) was being strengthened in phases as liquidity demands that it was using its resources judiciously. He said as part of efforts to extend their services, NEMA was seeking, through the National Economic Council, for the establishment of State and Local Governments Emergency Management Units. He assured her that much was being done to arrest physical disaster. He briefed her on the efforts of the government to address the country’s security challenges especially by Boko Haram and noted that the Security Agencies have attained great milestones in addressing the menace. He said that as an experienced security force, with positive records in peace keeping operations across the world the civilian population in the area were being handled in a proper manner while such engagements are ongoing. He took time to intimate her on the positive progress the country was making in the areas of Energy, Transportation, Agriculture and Education.
Earlier Ms Magareta Wohlsrom had stated that her mission was to convince the World to invest in prevention of disasters. She noted that Nigeria’s efforts at disaster management says a lot, not only in Africa, but globally. She noted the escalating costs of management of disasters but agreed on the need to connect the relevant stakeholders to galvanize and mobilize them to support her efforts. She also noted that they had some goals in which NEMA has also been incorporated. They included ending extreme poverty, leaving no one behind, putting sustainable developments at the core of the development agenda and forging a new global partnership based on cooperation, equity and human rights. She appreciated Nigeria’s giant strides in socio-economic development and noted that is a strong point for resilience.
Present at the meeting were the Director-General, NEMA Mohamed Sani Sidi, Country Representative of UN David Troare, Kiki Lawli, Yoncef Artchelluche and other top government officials.