The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has unveiled its reviewed National Contingency Plan 2023 -2025, aimed at strengthening disaster preparedness and response in the country.
Mustapha Ahmed, the director-general, NEMA, unveiled the plan at a ceremony on Monday in Abuja, saying it was developed to mitigate the impact of flooding and other disasters in the country.
“This plan has become imperative given that Nigeria has experienced quite a number of human and natural disasters, public health emergencies and other unforeseen events which can occur at any moment, causing immense devastation and disruption of the functioning of the society.
“It is our duty as disaster managers and citizens to ensure that we are adequately prepared to respond swiftly and efficiently to such situations,” he said.
The director-general appreciated the stakeholders who participated in the review of the plan, adding that the plan would guide the country in times of crisis.
“In the past months and years, countless hours of hard work, research and collaboration have gone into the development of this plan.
“Experts from various sectors have contributed their knowledge and experience, drawing upon lessons learned from past disasters and incorporating the latest best practices in disaster management,” he said.
Mr Ahmed said that the agency would continue to focus on disaster preparedness, continuous revision of risks and support states in developing their contingency plans
In his remarks, Mohammed Malagi, the minister of information and national orientation, represented by Suleiman Haruna, a director in the ministry, commended NEMA for developing the plan.
He said that disasters had continually taken a toll on the citizens yearly, resulting in loss of lives and means of livelihoods.
“Today’s launch is timely as it resonates with the government’s drive to protect citizens from all risks to their well-being, including security, displacement, epidemics and conflict,” he said.
Also speaking, the country representative, UNICEF Nigeria, Cristian Munduate, represented by Jane Bevan, chief of WASH, said that the plan focused on areas such as flooding, epidemics, armed conflict and violence across the local government areas of the county.
“After the devastating floods that affected 4.4 million people in Nigeria in 2022, including some 2.6 million children and displaced around 2.4 million people, this event today highlights the importance of emergency preparedness.
“To prepare means to avert or lessen the impact of flooding on those living in flood-prone areas.
“To prepare also means to plan in advance and therefore, here we are today to review the National Contingency Plan,” she said.