WELCOME ADDRESS BY THE DIRECTOR GENERAL, NATIONAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, AVM MUHAMMADU MUHAMMED (RTD), AT A ONE-DAY RETREAT FOR ZONAL COORDINATORS, HEAD OF TERRITORIAL AND OPERATIONAL OFFICES ON EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT SERVICE DELIVERY AT OPERATIONAL LEVEL HELD ON 24TH AUGUST, 2020 AT ARMY RESOURCE CENTRE, ABUJA

AVM Muhammadu Muhammed(rtd) Director General NEMA

Protocol ….
I am delighted to welcome our Honourable Minister to a One-Day Retreat for the Management Staff and Heads of Field Offices of NEMA.

  1. Hon. Minister, Distinguished Members of the National Assembly, when I took over the leadership of NEMA, I met a plethora of challenges. Poorly motivated staff, mutual suspicion among staff, poor working environment, lack of serviceable equipment among others. To compound these problems there was poor perception of the image of NEMA by the public, poor relation with our supervising Ministry and the National Assembly Committees and lack of intra and inter agency coordination and collaboration. The Call Centre for Emergency calls was not active while the Air Ambulance was grounded.
  2. In confronting these challenges, we spent hours together, sometimes into the nights to develop strategies and way forward to improve in our service delivery. We have tried to bring our Zonal Coordinators and Heads of Operation Offices into the meeting through Zoom, I have also met some of you during my visits to the States, but this is the first time I am meeting all of you together.
  3. Our efforts in the last three months have helped us to improve some areas that are essential to the management of the Agency such as the following:
    • We have established the desired relationship with our Ministry,
    • We have engaged the National Assembly as partners in the conduct of our affairs,
    • We are working on intra and inter departmental collaboration,
    • We have produced the 2019 Annual Report which was not done since 2016,
    • We settled all verifiable Staff claims that have been pending for couple of years,
    • We are also resolving contract liabilities that have been lingering since 2017,
    • We have reactivated many operational equipment as well as making progress in procuring operational vehicles,
    • Our communication equipment are receiving attention and the Call Centre has been reactivated. Efforts is being made to bring home the Air Ambulance.
  4. The essence of this retreat is to ensure that we rub minds to improve our service delivery at the operational level. The Field Officers are particularly important in the implementation of our strategies. You are the ones in touch with the State governments, the State Emergency Management Agency and with the people we are serving. As the frontline managers therefore, we are here to deliberate on effective and efficient service delivery to the nation.
  5. Delivering effective and efficient service calls for serious commitment on our part. As disaster managers, we must grow out of self-pity to fashion out measures for intervention and initiate disaster risk reduction strategies suitable to our respective communities. We are therefore setting the following targets for ourselves:
    i. Awareness Campaign to target 100% of Nigerians on reducing the risk of flooding and other disasters,
    ii. Development of resilience amount our communities through the implementation of the Sendai Framework of Action,
    iii. Responding to all catastrophic disasters in the country,
    iv. Shortening the response time to emergencies and disasters to 20 minutes,
    v. Ensuring the availability and workability of all rescue equipment for the country,
    vi. Implementation of the Humanitarian – Development Nexus,
    vii. Supporting the provision of basic needs for IDPs in catastrophic disasters,
    viii. Supporting the coordination of safe and dignified return of IDPs in the country in collaboration with other stakeholders,
    ix. Strengthening institutions for Disaster Management at the lower level of Governance,
    x. Strengthening collaboration and coordination with all humanitarian actors,
    xi. Mainstreaming and integrating disaster risk reduction within and across all sectors.
    xii. Promoting mechanisms for disaster risk transfer and insurance, risk-sharing and retention especially in flood and fire disasters.
    xiii. Reviewing and updating disaster preparedness and contingency policies, plans and programmes,
    xiv. Investing, developing, maintaining and strengthening people–centred multi-hazard, multi-sectoral forecasting and early warning systems,
    xv. Supporting the Six Centres for Disaster Risk Management in Nigeria established by NEMA.
  6. Honourable Minister, Ladies and Gentlemen, at this juncture, I want to thank His Excellency, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, for giving me yet another opportunity to serve Nigeria. I hereby affirm my pledge to Nigeria to be faithful, loyal and honest. I am also grateful to the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for her support. To Members of the National Assembly, I thank you for your strategic guidance.
  7. Hon. Minister, Distinguished Directors, ladies and gentlemen, we cannot be grateful enough to you for honouring our invitation. We will continue to look onto you for greater support as we progress to achieve our targets.
  8. Finally, to my colleagues in NEMA, we cannot achieve anything without the support of all of you. No one gets left behind
  9. Thank you and God bless.

24 August 2020.

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