Don’t reduce FEMA to dept- Pioneer D-G urges Wike   

Sat, May 25, 2024
By editor


ABBAS Idriss, pioneer Director-General (D-G) of the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has urged the Minister of the FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike against reducing the agency to a department.

Idriss made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of an event in honour of Mr Mohammed Sabo.

Sabo was the acting director-general of the department but retired from service on Friday, after serving the Federal Capital Territory Administration for 35 years.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that FEMA was established in June 2013, by Section 8 of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Act of 1999, with Idriss as its pioneer D-G.

The Act stipulated the  establishment for each state of the federation, a State Emergency Management Agency and Local Emergency Management Committee.

Since establishment, FEMA has been coordinating the multi-sectoral emergency preparedness and response plan for the FCT and ensuring its implementation by all relevant agencies.

However, FEMA Establishment Bill was passed by the National Assembly in 2022, but was not assented to by former President Muhammadu Buhari for it to become a law.

Consequently, the agency was reduced to a department as FCT Emergency Management Department (FEMD) and placed under the purview of Abuja Municipal Management Council of the FCT Administration by the current administration.

But Idriss expressed concern that the decision would have a negative impact on emergency management and response in the FCT.

According to him, with the current status, no international organisation or a donor will support the department with funds to strengthen its intervention.

“The development has relegated FEMA to the back seat, and if there is a conference of all State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMA), FCT will not be there.

“This is because the conference will be talking about SEMA and not departments.

“I, therefore, call on the FCT minister to rescind his decision to reduce FEMA to a department. It is not going to go well with FCT in terms of emergency response and mitigation.

“Whoever advised him to do this did not advise him well,” he said.

Idriss added that as a department, there would be too much bureaucracy and different levels of scrutiny before an item would be approved.

This, according to him, will weaken the ability of the emergency management body to efficiently respond to emergencies.

The pioneer director-general further advised that instead of weakening the FCT emergency coordinating body, it should be strengthened to lead other SEMAs in emergency management, response and mitigation.

This, he said, could be achieved, by first, getting the FEMA Bill signed into law and ensuring full implementation of its provisions.

“As it stands now, all the states of the federation have SEMA except the FCT,” Idriss said. (NAN)


-May 25, 2024 @ 18:50 GMT|