Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr Muhammad Sani-Sidi, has stated that a joint coordination of humanitarian groups working at all levels will strengthen humanitarian activities in Nigeria.
Sani-Sidi who made this known during a NEMA/UN working group meeting in Abuja, Wednesday, spoke in readiness towards the commencement of a joint humanitarian assessment in the North East states of Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.
Sani-Sidi said that the meeting would serve as a forum to discuss the coordination mechanisms between the working groups on ways to rejuvenate relevant sectors to perform to full expectations.
“Hearing the reports from all the sectors, we know where we have weaknesses and where we have to scale up. This meeting has also provided us the opportunity to strengthen the humanitarian working groups and the coordination mechanism. We need to improve on this, scale up of our activities, have frequent meetings so that we would have a sound and robust humanitarian activity in this country.
“UNICEF has done very well in the area of education for IDPs, so we expect other sectors to scale up their activities including the national agencies. We notice very clearly some of the sectors, especially those that are being led by some of the national institutions have far been left behind. We would also be talking to them to ensure that there is full participation of all the sectors in ensuring the success of this forum.’’
He said that NEMA, the UN and other relevant agencies would work out short, medium, and long term measures that would usher in rehabilitation activities for the devastated infrastructures and utilities in the affected states.
According to Sani-Sidi, in the course of the discussion, NEMA will ensure that the gaps identified are adequately addressed.
In his remarks, Mr Mohammed Safieldin, the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinor, United Nations System in Nigeria, commended the efforts of NEMA, the UN and other relevant agencies for their humanitarian assistance so far.
He disclosed that a lot of staff from the UN, NEMA, and the International Non- Governmental Organisations (INGOs) were stationed permanently in the insurgency affected states, adding that proper coordination would complement their efforts.
“What we have been able to achieve so far is a number of points of delivering services for the affected people in this places in the area of health, nutrition, food, shelter, and protection.
“Today, we discussed where we stand, what progress, what achievements we have made, and what weaknesses we are still facing and how to address this weaknesses.
“We also are in this meeting acknowledge the push from the different IDPs to return to their places of origin.
“We have agreed on an urgent need to do or undertake joint assessment of the places which are secured and safely accessible now.’’
Safieldin said that they would also work together to develop strategies for the reintegration of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their permanent homes after doing a safety assessment.