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Disaster mgt: FEMA seeks more collaboration with stakeholders

Director General, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alhaji Abbas Idriss, has called for more collaboration among stakeholders in the critical sub-sector for effective response to disaster management in the territory.

Alhaji Idriss made the call when men and officers of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) paid him a courtesy visit at FEMA headquarters recently.

Idriss emphasised the importance of collaboration among emergency subsector managers and stakeholders in achieving one goal which is “to save lives.

He further emphasised that the gear should shift from emergency rescue to disaster prevention and mitigation as, according to him, “disaster management is all about collaboration because FEMA cannot do it alone.

He enjoined stakeholders to acquaint themselves with modern ways of managing disaster in view of emerging disasters from flooding and terrorist activities even as he stressed the importance of information sharing among stakeholders.

He revealed FEMA’s plans to integrate divers and swimmers into rescue operations for flood incidents. According to him, “the divers will be trained and handed over to Local Emergency Committees in different Area Councils to work with, to respond promptly whenever flood occurs.

Alhaji Idriss equally revealed plans to establish hazard map for FCT to enable FEMA identify hazard areas in different locations and also guide the agency appropriately on approach of rescue, thereby reducing response time.

The FEMA boss urged residents and subsector managers to always use the three- digit toll free emergency number -112- for quick response to disasters around them, noting that they can call the number even when there is no airtime on their phones.

According to Alhaji Idriss, the importance of the 112 emergency number is to reduce response time from five minutes. He urged FCT residents and various stakeholders to embrace the emergency code 112 which he stated is a major achievement in disaster management.

Responding, the FCT Commandant, NSCDC, Commandant Patrick E. Ukpan, expressed satisfaction with the warm reception accorded him and his team. He stated that their visit to FEMA was to familiarise the corps with the agency’s activities and look into areas of further collaboration.

The commandant stated that the corps is saddled with the responsibility of maintaining law and order and also monitors activities of private guards and recommends them for registration.

He therefore urged residents to always consult the corps to provide them with a list and profile of registered private guard companies to avoid recruitment of guards with criminal background. The commandant also noted that the corps also manages critical infrastructure and national assets such as electrical installations, dams, buildings, and pipelines, among others, noting that his men are deployed to various infrastructure that are prone to vandalism for 24-hour surveillance.

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