NITDA, NEMA to mitigate disaster risk through Information Technology
By Na'ankwat Dariem,Abuja
The National Emergency Management Agency NEMA is seeking for support and collaboration with National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on the use of ICT Infrastructure and Digital platform to ensure timely, lifesaving search and rescue operations in Nigeria
This was discussed during a visit to the Director General NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa by the Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmad, in Abuja.
Inuwa congratulated the DG NEMA for his recent appointment, describing his task as onerous that requires sustained and strengthened partnerships for him to succeed in his duties due to its magnitude and impact on distress Nigerians.
He noted that NITDA as the government apex IT regulatory body is saddled with the mandate of developing and regulating the use of ICT in Nigeria adding that “is equally within its purview to deploy its expertise on virtually all aspects of human and operational endeavors that requires the application of digital technology which NEMA is not an exception”
He described NEMA’s operations as one that requires the application of modern technology, adding that “to work effectively and efficiently you need ICT, technology can help you get insight and predict a disaster even before it happens”.
The NITDA Boss maintained that modern technology will in no small measure positions agencies like NEMA to always be on their toes ahead of any emerging situation easily, quickly, and conveniently as well as providing useful information that will make the agency take proactive measures.
He assured them of NITDA’s unalloyed commitment to incorporating NEMA into its Digital Transformation Working Group (DTWG) to facilitate training on capacity building for their personnel, to ensure full grasp of the process, when, where and how to deploy and apply the technology appropriately.
Inuwa restated NITDA’s readiness to key into providing technology guide on effective communication methods with their Zonal and State Offices for quick, easy, and convenient information dissemination of locations for disaster.
On his part, the Director General of NEMA said the visit was to further intimate NITDA management on his Agency’s statutory mandate and seek for collaborative support between the two agencies.
He explained that NEMA’s Act empowers it to manage human and natural disasters as well as support Nigerians in distress and mitigate the impact of such calamities, thereby building the culture of resilience on Nigerians.
“the country is faced with wide ranging disasters such as insurgent activities ravaging the North East, communal conflicts, kidnappings and banditry, annual floods and most recently the COVID19 global pandemic”
According to Him “resources at the agency’s disposal no doubt has been over stretched and can barely meet the various disaster challenges across the nation”.
He stated that NITDA is critical to the realisation of mitigating disaster risk management in Nigeria being the country’s apex IT regulator
On the economic downtown occasioned due to the dreaded COVID 19 pandemic, the NEMA Boss a phased that it has become imperative for their agency to further explore and sustain cost saving methods in their operations.
One of the areas that requires NITDA’s intervention is to assist in making up NEMA’s Zonal Territorial and Operational offices more effective – to have real time and sudden onset disaster communication, video conferencing, collection of damage and loss assessment data to enable timely lifesaving search and rescue operations as well as deployment of humanitarian support in the right time.