Vanguard (Lagos)

3 December 2012

Nigeria: Nema Advocates Bilateral And Multilateral Treaties for Disasters Control

Bilateral and multilateral agreement between Nigeria and her neighbouring countries have been advocated for disaster control.

Meanwhil the Nigerian Army has explained why rescue operation is slow whenever disaster occurs in any part of the country. In a keynote address during the second breakfast meeting of the African Center for Supply Chain, Akande Isiaka, South West Zonal Coordinator of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), cited the recently opened Cameroon dams which flooded 21 states in Nigeria, destroyed farmlands and property, as reasons for bilateral and multilateral agreement designed to promote the environmental interests of the parties in agreement.

He said Nigerian government was notified by the Cameroonian government just 24 hours before they opened their dams, arguing that if a bilateral or multilateral agreement was in place, Nigeria would have adequately planned and damage by the floods would would have been minimised.

He disclosed that in addition to having a big warehouse that can accommodates 35 trail load of relief items for disaster victims, the agency is having six zonal offices across the country and is working together with six varsities in the country for manpower training in disaster management.

He advised Nigerians to heed early warning, saying: "Nigerians should do away with "It's not my portion syndrome. Even when they have been warned of impending disasters, they remain there until it catches up with them."

Col. Gabriel Akpan, Chief Instructor, Nigerian Army College of Logistics, Lagos, who explained why the military takes part in disasters control, said that in addition to their primary role of protecting the country from external aggressions, the military is also involved in disasters management through its 57 disaster corps units nationwide.

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