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    Improve emergency management, Reps urge NEMA, FRSC

    The House of Representatives has charged the National Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Roads Safety Commission, the Federal Fire Service and other response agencies to improve their public engagement and response strategies.

    The resolution of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion titled, ‘Call to improve Nigeria’s emergency response and management,’ moved on the floor of the House during Wednesday’s plenary session by the member representing Bogoro/Dass/Tafawa Balewa Federal Constituency, Bauchi State, Jafaru Leko.

    Leading the debate, the lawmaker noted that the ability to respond swiftly and effectively to emergencies and disasters is a critical aspect of ensuring the safety, security and well-being of Nigerians.

    He argued that a well-structured and efficient emergency response and management system is essential for minimising the impact of emergencies.

    The House, he said, “is aware that Nigeria has faced a series of emergency situations, most recently, the devastating explosion which occurred in Ibadan on the 16 January 2024, which has highlighted the need for a robust and coordinated emergency response system.

    “The House is worried that in some instances where emergency response systems are available, lack of access roads and other environmental or logistic challenges have impeded timely response to emergency situations.

    “The House is also worried that there is a lack of public awareness and education on emergency preparedness and response that empower citizens to play an active role in their own safety. A good percentage of Nigerians do not know, for example, the Fire Service Control Room number, where it is available.”

    “Cognizant that it is imperative to improve the capacity and resources dedicated to Nigeria’s emergency response, to ensure a more effective and efficient response to emergencies,” the House urged the Federal Government to “prevail on relevant emergency agencies like NEMA, FRSC and the Federal Fire Service, to establish clear protocols and communication systems for timely and effective information sharing during emergencies.”

    It also called for the strengthening and modernisation of Nigeria’s emergency response infrastructure, “including the establishment of state-of-the-art emergency operation centres, and the purchase of sufficient fire trucks and emergency management ambulances to efficiently serve the Nigerian populace.”

    Consequently, the House mandated the Committees on Emergency and Disaster Management, Interior, Federal Road Safety Commission to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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