The Director General of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, has commended the untiring efforts of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State in disaster management in the state, saying that the agency is happy with what his administration is doing in that regard.
The Director General, who was represented by the Agency’s South East Zonal Coordinator, Martins Udeinya, spoke at the two-day stakeholders forum of the Enugu State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA Enugu) themed: “Emergency Preparedness and Response-Key to Effective Disaster Risk Management,” and organised in collaboration with NEMA to chart a new course and map out strategies on best ways to tackle the challenges of disasters in the state.
Addressing the forum, Mr. Udeinya said that Gov. Ugwuanyi has displayed enormous commitment towards the management of disaster in the state, adding that the governor in a bid to effectively drive the vision of his administration in the sector appointed a new Executive Secretary of SEMA Enugu, Nkechi Eneh, who he said has collaborated efficiently with his office to actualise the set objectives of the agency.
“We have a governor who is interested in disaster management. The governor in his wisdom appointed a new Executive Secretary of SEMA, Mrs. Nkechi Eneh who took off with speed. She was always in my office asking questions in all aspects of disaster management in keeping with the governor’s vision. I am happy that what is happening today is one of the outcome of the collaboration and I thank Gov. Ugwuanyi for this bold initiative.
“We are here for a serious business. We are here to develop an emergency management framework. We are here to consolidate our preparedness…, to interact and share experiences on what happened in the past and where it can lead us to… I am passionate about disaster management in Enugu State and we are also looking at Enugu State that will be one of the cleanest states in Nigeria by the year 2020,” the NEMA coordinator said.
In his address, Governor Ugwuanyi who applauded SEMA Enugu for making the collective dream to hold the meeting a reality, stated that the conceptualisation, planning and hosting of the meeting demonstrated the commitment of the agency to achieving its mandate of making Enugu State “a disaster risk conscious state”.
The governor who reiterated his administration’s commitment to the full actualisation of the agency’s mandate for the state to attain the highest level of disaster prevention, preparedness, mitigation and response, called for a sound disaster management principle hinged on effective collaboration and coordination among the national, state, local government and community structures to achieve the overall vision of building resilient communities.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Executive Secretary of SEMA Enugu, Mrs. Eneh appreciated Mr. Ugwuanyi for his presence at the event, saying that it demonstrates the importance his administration attaches to Disaster Management in the State.
She added that “it also affirms our belief that your government, understands that disasters put development gains at risk and can indeed wipe out many years of progress,” stressing that “it confirms that your commitment to the safety of lives and property in our State is unequivocal, total and very sincere”.
The Executive Secretary noted that the theme of the meeting was apt “in the light of the increasing hazards and vulnerabilities brought about not only by the giant developmental strides of the government, but also by the growing challenges of urbanization, climate change and its effects, contracting economic resources and the emerging trends in disaster management best practices globally”.
Mrs. Eneh also disclosed that the aim of the meeting was to highlight the impact of preparedness and response on the hazards and vulnerabilities that development foists on us in Enugu State bringing to the fore the power of collaboration.
She enjoined all stakeholders in Disaster Management to renew their collective resolve towards a more coordinated strategy towards the sustenance of public confidence in our democratic governance, assuring that “SEMA Enugu is determined to drive the collaboration of all stakeholders with a view to providing long-term sustainable solutions to both natural and human induced disasters.”