CEM REPORT, ENVIRONMENT | The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has warned of worse flooding in 2023 if necessary precautions are not taken.
The Director-General, of the agency Mustapha Mohammed, gave the warning yesterday when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Special Duties to defend his agency’s 2023 budget.
He decried that the flooding experience by some states was a result of earlier warnings given to states by NEMA early in the year but ignored.
“Let me also use this opportunity to prevail on the committee to intervene on our behalf. We have written to states several times. This flood is still coming in 2023.
“They must be advised early to set up SEMA and local emergency committees and fund them adequately.
“We gave similar warning last year, but our advises (pieces of advice) were ignored.”
While noting that states need to do more in disaster management, he confirmed that the Federal Government had ordered the distribution of 12,000 tonnes of grains to the 36 states.
Furthermore, the NEMA boss observed that the agency lacked adequate personnel to manage disasters stating that “we do not enjoy hazard allowance.”
He urged the National Assembly to arouse states in this regard.
However, a member of the committee, Senator Lilian Ekwunife, doubted the possibility of the federal legislature instructing states and councils on the matter.
“The National Assembly is an independent institution that is not answerable to any state. The states are also not answerable to us.
“We can only appeal to them, but our constituents have a greater role to play by telling their state governments to act fast on the NEMA warning.” The Senator Yusuf Yusuf-led committee challenged people of the affected states to hold their governors accountable, urging NEMA to request additional manpower through the Head of Service of the Federation.”
Another committee member, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, appealed to states to deploy the huge financial resources at their disposal, especially ecological funds, to address environmental challenges.