The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Tuesday said that Nigerians and various levels of government in the country are not adequately prepared for disaster risk management and emergencies.
Head of Unit, Disaster Management of NSCDC in Oyo State, Mr. Umar Sheu who made this declaration while speaking at a stakeholders meeting to commemorate the 2020 international day for disaster reduction in the Southwest, said that findings indicate that many states, organizations and individuals are not prepared for emergency situations.
Sheu who was represented by Mr. Stephen Adesoji, a Superintendent of the Corps, noted that many states, organizations and individuals do not have instruments and gadgets to prevent and minimise disasters.
This he said shows that the country is not prepared for emergencies.
Sheu said that government agencies managing disasters, organizations and individuals must be equipped with instruments that can help minimize disasters and risks.
He said that NSCDC and other agencies managing disasters in the country need modern-day equipment to meet the day to day demands for emergencies.
He added that a situation where a state has no functional ambulances, where companies and organizations have no first aid equipment is an indication that Nigeria is not prepared for disasters.
He said, “This tells us how we are responding to disaster management in Nigeria. Look at the number of people that you invited and the number that came.
“Many states and local government areas don’t have ambulances. When they don’t have the equipment how do you want them to respond to emergencies? You cannot give what you don’t have. That is why there is need for more equipment to respond to emergency situations.
“We in NSCDC, we want to mitigate, we don’t want disaster for anybody. That is why we have a department that deals with disasters. We believed that disaster can happen anytime, this is why we are always attending to emergencies.
“Your community members, family members and people around you can be trained in disaster management. We need to catch the young ones, we need to catch them young. What is important to us is human life. It is not all states that have ambulances and other equipment. We need more gadgets to mitigate risks and disasters”.
Executive Director, Centre for Disaster Risk and Crisis Reduction, Mr. Kolawole Amusat-Gbenla in his welcome address urged governments at all levels to equip agencies responsible for disaster management with modern-day equipment.
He noted that “Disaster management is a business of all. We have to collectively prepare for it. We are here to celebrate the international day for disaster risk and crisis reduction. The day is set aside to create awareness on the crisis people face in their communities.
“We have structures and agencies that can manage disasters but, we still have more to do. When we have structures and agencies and such agencies are not well equipped. The agency that is not well funded, well equipped with not function well”.