Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pst. Umo Eno, has lauded the collaborative efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency, Nigerian Metrological Agency, and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, in tackling floods, saying that the union would open a new vista towards averting mistakes made in the past in the area of disaster management.
He said it is a common approach in the state for Ministries and Agencies to work together to achieve the same purpose and bring benefits to the state.
Eno stated this while declaring open the Disaster Preparedness And Risk Reduction Strategies On The Outcome Of The 2023 Season Climate Prediction And Annual Flood Outlook, held at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Uyo. on Wednesday.
“So we will like to appreciate the collaboration, and that is what inspired me when we had the discussion, being that you were coming together
“You are what I may call the trifecta of disaster management, which is the key aspect of what the National Emergency Management Agency does, to weather forecasting, which is the critical mandate of the Nigerian Metrological Agency, to flood control mechanisms, which is what Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency primarily does, amongst other mandates dedicated to you, and you have all done a great job,” the governor said.
While restating his administration’s resolve to partner with NEMA to checkmate ecological challenges in the state, the governor appreciated the Director-General of NEMA Alh Mustapha Ahmed, for the decision to flag off the event in the state, adding that being a coastal state, Akwa Ibom is prone to flooding and other erosion related challenges.
The DG of NEMA, Mustapha Ahmed, in his keynote address, hinted that the Nigerian Metrological Agency and Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency have released the 2023 seasonal climate prediction and annual flood outlook for the year.
He described the Flood Outlook as a vital document that contains a metrological forecast in its early onset of rainfall and high probability of flood across the country during the year, noting that it was on that premise that NEMA drew its mandate of disaster management and decided to take the initiative of partnering with NIHSA and NIMET to work on early warning alerts in the state, local government authorities and communities at risk of flood disaster and associated hazards.
He disclosed that experts from NEMA, NIMET, and NIHSA will be deployed to all 36 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to downscale early warning messages to all the relevant end users across socio-economic sectors in the country.
He said that the initiative would enable all actors to take risk-informed decisions against future flood occurrences, support disaster risk management, and engender sustainable socio-economic growth in Nigeria.
“I am happy that we are here with experts from NIHSA and NiMet to support this initiative of the downscaling of disaster early warning measures to grassroots for effective life-saving early actions during the 2023 rainy season.
“Subsequently, we are deploying the same experts from NEMA, NiMet, and NIHSA to all the states of the federation and the FCT to downscale and take the early warning message to all the relevant end users across socio-economic sectors,” he said.
“I am very confident that this initiative will enable all responsible actors to take risk-informed decisions to enable them to match early warning with early action, support disaster risk management, safeguard national food security, and engender sustainable socio-economic growth in Nigeria”. Ahmed said.
Earlier, in her address, the Deputy Governor of the State, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, said though disaster cannot be prevented, proactive steps must be taken to reduce its impact on the country.
She said, “We can’t wish disaster away but proactive steps taken can mitigate the effects of the disaster in our state. If this meeting engenders the envisaged action, we will not have reasons to fear”.
The Director Generals of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Prof. Mansur Matazu, and Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency, Mr Clement Nze, were present during the flag-off.