The Senate has mandated its Committees on Special Duties, Ecology and Climate Change and Environment to investigate the effectiveness of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in its disaster response activities in 2019.
This was sequel to a Point of Order raised by a PDP Senator representing Adamawa South, Yaroe Binos, during Tuesday’s plenary.
The motion was entitled “The need for immediate disaster response by NEMA to communities in Demsa, Numan, Guyuk and Lamurde Local Government Areas of Adamawa, severely affected by flooding in October.”
The upper chamber also directed NEMA to immediately implement a response programme for the flood disaster that affected various communities of Demsa, Numan, Lamurde and Guyuk Local Government Areas of Adamawa, as per the detailed submission of the disaster made to NEMA.
While raising orders 42 and 52, Mr Binos said that NEMA was established via Act No.12 as amended by Act No. 50 of 1999.
“It was established for managing disasters in Nigeria through formulation of policies on all activities relating to disaster management and coordination of plans and programmes for efficient and effective response to disasters in Nigeria.”
He said that the major disaster in form of “destructive flooding” in parts of Adamawa occurred in Oct. 2019 as a result of the release of excess water by the authorities of Lagdo dam in Cameroon.
“NEMA performed a disaster response action by distributing relief materials to communities in Furfure, Yola South and North Local Government Areas affected by the flood.
“This intervention by NEMA was not extended to other local government areas in Adamawa along river Benue valley equally affected by flood,” Mr Binos said.
He further said that although the attention of director-general of the agency was drawn to the need to provide relief materials to communities of the four local governments mentioned, nothing had been done by NEMA till date.
Supporting the motion, Sen. Shuaibu Lau (PDP- Taraba North) said that there was need to call NEMA to order because each time there was flood along the Benue valley, it usually start from Adamawa, Taraba and Benue.
“There is no way each time there is flood, the NEMA will select some few areas and give relief materials and leave the others.”
“When there is disaster, NEMA needs to go along the river Benue and ascertain which areas were affected with a view to bringing relief materials to the areas affected,” Lau said.
All the resolutions were adopted by the Senators after a voice vote by the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan.