Nigeria's Emergency Agency visits Observer
Monday, April 23, 2012
The visiting five-member delegation from the National
Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria led by
its director general Thursday visited the Observer Company as one of its host's
key partners in the advocacy component of disaster risk reduction in the
The team which ended its three-day visit to The Gambia today
is in the country as guests of the Office of the Vice President and the
National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) to provide technical assistance and
other support to The Gambia through the NDMA to boost its operational and
tactical efficiency and effectiveness in guiding and coordinating Disaster Risk
Reduction (DRR) activities in the country, learn examples of best practices and
warehousing, among others.
The visit, accordingly, is historic as it aims to strengthen
the existing partnership between the Observer Company and the NDMA within the
spirit of advocacy in the realisation awareness creation.
“As you may know the Daily Observer Newspaper is one of our
key partners when you talk of advocacy on disaster risk reduction on climate
change adaptation. We have been working closely with them in our advocacy drive
to push the advocacy not only at the national level but also at a distance
level, advancing the advocacy agenda to the level of communities,” said Essa
Khan, the executive director of NDMA in his remarks. According to him, his agency operates on four pillars such
as, resource moblisation; political commitments; among others.
Speaking earlier, Muhammed Sani Sidi, the director general
of NEMA of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said their mission to The Gambia
was a response to a request for technical assistance support from their host
agency in the country in order to enable them [their host, the NDMA] learn
examples of best practices and warehousing, among others from his agency
“It is also meant to share our experience and exchange ideas
with our partner agency in The Gambia as part of the Ecowas initiatives in
encouraging South-South Cooperation.
We in Nigeria felt that because of the
comparative advantage we have and the fact that we have an already established
institution both at the Federal, State and the local government in managing
disaster, we should share our experiences and best practices with other sister
countries in line with the existing bilateral relationship that exists between
Nigeria and The Gambia and to further strengthen and enhance the South-South
Cooperation,” he said, adding that they will also be sending two of their staff
who will be working with the NDMA to help them build their capacity in the
areas of disaster risk reduction, integrated emergency management response and
other areas of disaster.
According to him, disaster in recent times have constituted a major set back to national development, saying that the emphasis now the world over is that the paradigm from response to disaster risk reduction in Nigeria were able to push for the mainstreaming of disaster risk reduction in making some of their national planning. “It is very important that Gambian tourism consider mainstreaming disaster risk reduction in their national planning,” he said.
The NEMA boss went further to assure that they will be
giving opportunities to Gambian emergency response team to send some of their
staff to their centres. “We have established six centres for disaster risk
reduction in Nigeria in collaboration with six Nigerian Universities in
disaster management,” he said.
Therefore, he added, “We will avail opportunities
to some of their staff and organise simulation exercise in collaboration with
the armed forces from time to time. We have also developed manuals to various
disasters. So we are simulating those manuals and we will also invite them to
simulation exercise in Nigeria”.
He continued: “We will avail the Gambian National Disaster
Management Agency with all these opportunities so that they will also share the
same thing. I thank you very much for receiving us and assure you that we value
our collaboration with the media and we have of recent created a division,
which used to be a unit in NEMA in charge of media. We thank you once again for
receiving us. This demonstrates the fact that there exists very cordial and
good relationship between the NDMA and the media. It has been demonstrated in
For his part, Pa Malick Faye, the Managing Director of the
Observer Company (Gambia) Limited thanked the delegation for choosing to visit
the Observer Company. He also joined Nigeria's NEMA boss to reiterate the good
existing collaboration between the NDMA and his office especially in terms of
advocacy. “We feel very honoured that you have chosen among the many
media outlets in the country, especially the print to visit Observer,” said MD
Faye, while assuring the visiting NEMA delegates and their host of his office’s
continuous support to their activities.
To him, empowering media means creating more awareness on
events as they unfold to which he said will make people to become more aware of
the pros and cons, because when they are sensitised they would be able to know
actually what to do even in terms of emergency. “So, as far as we are concerned the Daily Observer will do
its best to ensure a continuous relation with the NDMA. We will not relent in
our efforts to ensure that our partnership continues and we are happy that you
have chosen Observer Company among the rest which is no mistake because we have
the biggest circulation on daily basis,” he said.
He also spoke on the positive support the observerrendered to the NDMA in terms of
advocacy in covering NDMA’s activities, especially the 2009 floods. “We will continue the partnership “ said MD Faye, while
expressing hope that the visiting agencies will also maintain the collaboration
He added: “Observer has the largest readership and any message you put in it will get across to the people. We really value this move because it shows that you appreciate thepartnership . You did not make any mistake by coming to Observer.”
Author: Musa Ndow