Niger State: NEMA upgrades office for quick response to disasters

Nura Mohammed and Abubakar Hassan, Minna

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says it has upgraded its North Central Zonal office to a directorate for speedy response to emergencies and disasters.

Mr Bashir Idris, Director, North Central Zone of the agency, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Umaru Bago of Niger at the Government House in Minna.

He explained that the north central zonal office was upgraded to a directorate to do away with bureaucracy in response to emergencies and disasters.

“There is a deliberate strategy to unbundled the agency so that it can be free from beaurcacy, the former North zonal office has been upgraded to a directorate.

“Bureaucracy will be kept aside and issues of emergency will be treated with dispatch, we are here to keep you abreast of this development,” he said.

Idris acknowledged that Niger state was being challenged with flood, boat mishap and banditry, adding that plans were underway to organise a workshop for affected states on managing mishap.

He said that most problems associated with boat mishaps and attendant fatalities was because most institutions were yet to be improved to facilicitate the discharge of their duties adding that the Inland Waterways, Marine Police and people using boats to convey passengers and goods were not regulated, thereby resulting to large numbers of causalities when mishap occurs.

He therefore appealed to the state government to come up with a law to mandate that anyone using waterways as means of transportation must have a life jacket.

Responding, Bago, said there was need for the agency and the state government to safeguard emergency relief items and ensure their timely distribution to the people.

He said all efforts were on to address issues of banditry, adding that most riverine communities have been relocated to high ground and plans a bill on National inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) would soon be domesticated.

Bago added that government had procured and got donations of life jackets which have been deployed to people, adding that most boat mishap were caused by overloading.

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