by Isi Esene
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has recorded about 743,062 persons that were internally displaced by conflicts and natural disasters in various parts of the country, Director General of the agency Muhammad Sani Sidi has said.
He disclosed this in Calabar at the opening of the annual consultative meeting of the National Emergency Management Agency with the heads of all the States Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs), explaining that 676,975 of the persons were displaced by conflicts and 66,087 by natural disasters as at September 2014.
The Director General NEMA also said that “disaster occurrences and the number of affected people have risen significantly in recent years as a result of the impacts of climate change, insurgency, communal conflicts and skirmishes between farmers and pastoralists amongst others. This has no doubt impacted negatively in the area of our development as a nation aside the humanitarian crisis attendant thereto.”
These, he said require urgent collective action of the stakeholders to complement the steps taken by the Federal Government which has been providing necessary assistance to the affected persons through the National Emergency Management Agency. “The challenges faced by displaced persons call for serious commitment ” he said, adding that NEMA would continue to collaborate with the stakeholders to ensure that the distressed persons are properly taken cared of. He assured that “we will continue to do this as it constitute our primary responsibility to our citizens.”
On the consultative meeting, the Director General of NEMA Muhammad Sani Sidi said it was designed to appraise the available structures, facilities, challenges and prospects for efficient and effective disaster management in the country.
The Deputy Governor of Cross River State, Effiok Cobham who represented Governor Liyel Imoke, while declaring open the meeting appreciated the role of NEMA in the improvement of disaster management in the country. He urged the participants to identify and advised government on measures that focus on disaster prediction and prevention.