Francis Sardauna in Katsina
The Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters thursday said it was partnering with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on disaster response and management in order to address disasters across the country.
The partnership, according to the Defense Headquarters, would improve the response unit of the Nigerian Armed Forces and boost its capability towards tackling disasters in Nigeria.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olanisakin, who stated this when he visited the Disaster Response Unit of the 35 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Katsina, said he was in the unit to ascertain its readiness in responding to disasters.
Olanisakin, represented by Maj.-Gen. Habila Vintenaba said, “it has been plan of the Defence Headquarters to collaborate with NEMA to ensure that adequate provisions are made, so that the designated disaster response units of the Armed Forces are adequately equipped and catered for.
‘’That will enhance their response capability in terms of major disaster in the country. We are with NEMA officials to see their level of preparedness in disaster response, know their problems and where we can come in”.
While reaffirming that the Nigerian Armed Forces was deeply involved in internal security operations across the nation, the defence chief called on paramilitary agencies to deployed more personnel for disaster management operations.
On his part, the NEMA Director of Search and Rescue, Air Commodore Akigbe Iyamu, who represented the agency’s Director-General, Mustapha Maihaja, said the NEMA was satisfied with the performance of the unit while dealing with disaster related issues.
He added: “NEMA will provide the unit with necessary equipments needed to effectively managed disaster in the country to enhance its performances”.
Responding, the Commanding Officer of the 35 Battalion, Lit.-Col. UG Okodaso, assured the command’s readiness in handling disasters, stressing that they have engineers and other experts ready to be engaged in disaster management.