By Henry Odeh
The Oyo state government has pledged its full support to activities geared towards prevention and management of fire disaster ahead of the dry season that approaches.
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Oyo State Emergency Management Agency (OYSEMA), and other critical stakeholders in Oyo state have also expressed readiness to form an improved synergy with the state government to ensure effective management and prevention of disaster especially fire outbreak in the new season.
This was made known on Wednesday 25th November, at a one day stakeholders meeting which held at the Western Hall of the Oyo state house of assembly in Ibadan.
Speaking at the meeting, the South West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA, Mr Slaku Lugard, in his paper presentation titled “NEMA and disaster coordination” noted that operations of the federal agency transcend response adding that it does more of prevention and coordination than just responding to disasters when they occur.
Mr Lugard, who coordinates NEMA operations across all six states in the south west region comprising Oyo, Osun, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti, and Lagos states, stressed the need for all stakeholders to work more as a team than individual agencies to avoid duplication of efforts stressing that the aim of disaster management is to save lives and protect properties from getting destroyed.
He commended governor Seyi Makinde for his efforts towards mitigating disaster in the state and urged the state government to show more commitment noting that NEMA in Oyo state was yet to have its own warehouse to stockpile relief materials in case of any disaster.
Earlier, the Oyo state Commissioner for Environment And Natural Resources, Barrister Idowu Oyeleke, stated that disaster management demands that all industry and management stakeholders put efforts together collectively to attain success.
Speaking on behalf of the commissioner, the Special Assistant to the governor on environment and natural resources, Engr Ademola Aderinto commended NEMA for being at the forefront of partnering with relevant MDAs and other concerned organizations nationally in making emergency aid and relief materials available during critical times.
The governor’s aide on behalf of the Oyo state government pledged all necessary support required for the success of fire disaster prevention, management, and coordination in the state throughout the dry season.
Other critical stakeholders who spoke at the one day stakeholders meeting such as OYSEMA, Oyo state Fire Service, Nigeria Security And Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), and others, in their separate submissions agreed that there is an urgent need to form a stronger synergy to achieve better results in disaster management.
Part of the resolutions arrived at include among others effective communication for swift coordination and response during disaster, periodic sensitization workshops and trainings for member stakeholders for knowledge in the basics of preventing fire outbreak as well as other disaster prevention and management techniques.
Other stakeholders present at the meeting include the Nigerian Army, DSS, Federal and State Fire Services, Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corp, Ibadan Urban Flood Management Program (IUFMP).