Politics News

House of Reps urges CBN, NSA, others to review national disaster policy

The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Security Adviser, the National Human Rights Commission and a host of other Federal Government agencies to review the current disaster policy framework for national development.
The House resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by a member representing Ijero/DEkiti West/Efon Federal Constituency, Eki State, Mr. Francis Omoleye, on the floor of the House during Thursday’s plenary.
There have been calls for a re-examination of the nation’s disaster policy particularly as Nigerians continue to suffer untold hardship occasioned both by natural and man-made disasters.
In the past few years across some states of the federation, scores of Nigerians were rendered homeless owing to flooding, erosion and other environmental-related hazards.
Leading the debate on the motion titled, ‘Call for national disaster insurance scheme,’ Omoleye noted that “billions of Nigerian taxpayers’ funds have been allocated to addressing natural and artificial disasters, yet no significant relief has been provided to affected victims.”
He also added that “billions of private and public infrastructures are destroyed annually by the combined effects of floods, fire, and storms of unimaginable proportions, hence the need to address the noticeable gaps in disaster mitigation management in Nigeria.”
“The House is aware that the National Emergency Management Agency, saddled with the management of disasters in Nigeria, has used insufficient resources to manage disasters, often resulting in insignificant budgets and unable to mitigate the actual effects;
“The House is informed that the affected victims are worst off after each disaster mitigation exercise as hopes and expectations are dashed, leading to huge frustration and suicide contemplations by many, who are often occupationally and habitually displaced.
“The House is concerned that the rise in unwholesome practices by hoodlums and bandits may be linked to the frustrations of victims whose livelihoods, such as farming and animal husbandry, have been lost without future assistance,” Omoleye noted.
The lawmakers also expressed worry that institutions responsible for risk management during emergencies are not fulfilling their expected responsibilities.
The House urged “the National Emergency Management Agency, Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resources and Sanitation, Office of the National Security Adviser, Fire Services Department, National Human Rights Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Insurance Corporation and Representatives of Insurance firms to re-examine the current disaster policy framework for National Development and consider implementing a new national disaster insurance scheme to ensure public confidence.”
The House also called on the National Orientation Agency, the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, and the public enlightenment unit of the NEMA to “embark on public enlightenment and sensitization programmes nationwide in all Nigerian languages to educate the people on early warning signals, especially on fire during the coming harmattan season.”
This is just as the House mandated its Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Appropriations, Environment, National Security and Intelligence, Finance, Water Resources, Human Rights, and Legislative Compliance to ensure confirmation and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

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