Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has addressed disaster prevention and emergency management as he continues to carry out reforms in Edo State.
Receiving members of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Edo Operations Office, on a courtesy visit to the Edo State Government House in Benin on Tuesday, he declared that his administration would be more proactive to disaster management and strengthen the state’s fire service to allow for effective combat of disasters.
Ruing the economic status of the country and citing it as a challenge, he revealed that the state may not fully domesticate the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) law, but it would integrate its functions and activities into the existing disaster management structure in the state.
He revealed his administration’s intention to work with the emergency management body and utilise its services in the state to improve the state’s disaster management structure.
“We see the need for disaster management and we have a structure, which will be refined under my tenure. Today we do not have the money to duplicate agencies, so what we will do is to integrate the function and activities of SEMA into the existing structure we have and work with NEMA to provide advisory coordination for us”, he said.
He added that a quarterly review of NEMA’s activities in the state would be incorporated into the state’s security meetings to evaluate the state’s level of preparedness to avert disasters.
Intimating the governor on the agency’s activities in the state, the Head of Edo Operations, NEMA, Mr Monday Oviangbede revealed that NEMA was into policy formulation and coordination of government and non-governmental agencies responsible for disaster management.
Meanwhile, he said that the agency had replicated institutions in states and local government councils across the country.
He however noted that Edo was yet to have an equipped and functional SEMA, which could and prepare the state for inevitable disasters, requesting for provision of staff quarters and a warehouse for relief materials.