Farmers/herdsmen crisis: Poor coordination responsible – NEMA

Mr Mustapha Maihaja

Mr Mustapha Maihaja, DG, NEMA

Mr Mustapha Maihaja, DG, NEMA

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) says poor coordination of human and material resources while responding to emergencies were responsible for skirmishes between farmers and herdsmen in the country.

The Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, stated this at the closing ceremony of Incident Command System (ICS) Training in Abuja on Friday.

The programme was supported by the International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

“The negative impact of climate change, communal conflicts, skirmishes between farmers and pastoralists and the recent terrorist attacks have risen in magnitude and frequency over the years.

“This has been aggravated by poor coordination of human and material resources while responding to emergencies,” Maihaja said.

He said that the incident command system was introduced to clarify the chain of command, control and coordination in a complex incident as observed in the country.

He explained that the incident command system was a standardised approach to the command, control and coordination of emergency response that provides a common hierarchy within which responders from multiple agencies could be effective.

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“Training of personnel in this regard is therefore critical for its operationalisation and it is against this backdrop that the Government of United States through USAID/OFDA and USFS is supporting Nigeria with this ICS training.

“The positive experience of the utilisation of personnel trained on Emergency Operations Centre in 2018 during the flood disaster cannot be forgotten in haste.

“The ICS training will therefore not be an exception as it will be deployed appropriately to enhance our emergency coordination,” he said.

Mr Mike Lambright of U.S. Forest Service, said the training was designed to enhance the capacity of the personnel of NEMA and States’ Emergency Management Agencies to handle tragic situations.

Lambright, who is the Lead Technical Advisor, U.S. Disaster Management Programme in Nigeria, said the training would equip the two agencies to establish incident management team to better facilitate effective disaster response.

Alhaji Mohammad Suleiman, Executive Secretary, Adamawa State Emergency Management Agency, who described the training as very topical and timely, said it would assist in saving lives in crisis situations.

Malam Sani Lokoja, Technical Adviser to NEMA’s director-general, expressed optimism that the training would enhance the handling of disaster situations by officials.

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