Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has delivered two truckloads assortment of relief materials for victims of the floods that ravaged numerous communities in Delta State last year.
The relief materials were delivered to the Delta State Government by a delegation from the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, led by the Agency’s Public Affairs Director, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, yesterday at Asaba, the state capital.
Similarly, the NIMASA team, which included its Head of Administration, Mr. Zakari Mohammed and the Central Zone Warri Coordinator, also visited the Asaba office of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) to donate some relief items to the federal agency, which also lost vital equipment to the 2018 flood disaster in coastal parts of Delta State.
Officials of the Delta State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) led by its Director, Mr. Karo Ovemeso, were joined by the state’s special duties commissioner, Mr. Ernest Ogwezzy, to welcome the NIMASA team, and to receive the items at the SEMA warehouse in Asaba.
In an address, presented on his behalf by Mr. Osamgbi, the NIMASA director-general expressed concern over the pains suffered by the citizens in Delta state whose lives were disrupted by the environmental disaster, with a large number of residents displaced from their homes for weeks.
He said the management of the Agency was moved to go outside its primary statutory mandate in order to help ameliorate the hardship thrust upon Nigerian citizens by natural disasters like the 2018 flooding that swept across at least 20 states of the federation.
He noted that the decision to so intervene had the backing of the Federal Government, adding that the provision of relief materials was indeed at the behest of the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who graciously encouraged NIMASA to provide some measure of succour the victims of flooding nationwide.
According to Peterside, ‘’Though our core mandates are principally to regulate and promote shipping as well as other maritime ventures in Nigeria, we are acutely aware and also conscious of the plights of our stakeholders, particularly those affected by recent flooding and natural disaster victims like you.
‘’We are here in realisation of the fact that an injury to (victims of flooding here) is an injury to us and, by extension, an injury to Nigeria,’’ adding that all states impacted by the flooding would be reached by the agency.
Dakuku nevertheless commended the concerted efforts of the Delta State Government to give care particularly the needy during and after the flood disaster, adding NIMASA was delighted to complement the concerned efforts of the Okowa administration because ‘’a problem shared is a problem solved.’’
He said that the Agency’s ‘’little contribution’’ of mattresses, sleeping mats, household utensils and various food items including rice, beans, garri, noodles and cooking oil, was NIMASA’s way of telling even those displaced by the natural disaster they were also loved in their trying times.
The Delta SEMA Director, Mr. Ovemeso, while expressing gratitude to NIMASA and the Federal Government for what he called ‘’surprise gesture of love and care’’ for the victims of the flooding months after, assured that the relief materials would judiciously distributed to those they are meant.
Meanwhile, it was all excitement at the office of the NIMC Asaba as the Delta State NIMC Coordinator, Mrs. Henrietta Okolo received the items donated by NIMASA, including power generating sets, set of computers, printers and other ICT equipment for national identity registration especially in some flood-ravaged coastal areas of the state.
‘’I must confess that we are pleasantly surprised at the donation’’, Mrs. Okolo said. ‘’Even though we had written to NIMASA after we lost some vital equipment to the floods particularly in some of our offices in places like Burutu and Patani, I didn’t really expect this level of response from NIMASA.’’