At least 743, 062 persons are internally displaced by conflicts and natural disasters in various parts of Nigeria as at September, 2014, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Muhammad Sani Sidi has said.
The Director General was quoted by NEMA Information Officer, Ezekiel Manzo, to have said this in Calabar, the Cross Rivers State capital, at the opening of the annual consultative meeting of NEMA with the heads of all the States Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs).
The NEMA DG explained that 676, 975 of the persons were displaced by conflicts while 66, 087 were displaced by natural disasters.
“Disaster occurrences and the number of affected people have risen significantly in recent years as a result of the impacts of climate change, insurgency, communal conflicts and skirmishes between farmers and pastoralists amongst others. This has no doubt impacted negatively in the area of our development as a nation aside the humanitarian crisis attendant thereto”, he said.
Mr. Sidi stressed that urgent collective action of stakeholders was required to complement the steps taken by the Federal Government which has been providing necessary assistance to the affected persons through NEMA.
“The challenges faced by displaced persons call for serious commitment”, he said adding that NEMA would continue to collaborate with the stakeholders to ensure that the distressed persons are properly catered for.
He assured that “we will continue to do this as it constitute our primary responsibility to our citizens”.
On the consultative meeting, the NEMA FG noted that it was designed to appraise the available structures, facilities, challenges and prospects for efficient and effective disaster management in the country.
While declaring open the meeting, the Cross River Deputy Governor, Effiok Cobham, who represented Governor Liyel Imoke, appreciated the role of NEMA in the improvement of disaster management in the country. He, therefore, urged the participants to identify and advise government on measures that focus on disaster prediction and prevention.