Government in all the States of the Federation have been advised to invest more in emergency management, disaster and risk prevention and mitigation.
The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Dr. Femi Oke-Osanyintolu gave the advice when some officials of the Ondo State Emergency Management Agency visited the Command and Control Centre of LASEMA on a two-day tour of the facility.
Dr Oke-Osanyintolu who said Lagos has so far been able to successfully mitigate some of the current and emerging risks it faces as a growing smart city attributed the feat to the laid down structure and the commitment of successive administrations in the State to build on the foundations already in place.
“There’s difference between having a structural and the structure is dynamic, it is dynamic in Lagos because the Governor had taken clear ownership of emergency management, he is committed, he has provided the unique aspect of leadership, which is political will, without the political will, without a clear political will, we cannot achieve anything, so that’s why after exchanging ideas, we emphasize that it won’t work if the executive arm of government do not provide or have the political will” Oke-Osanyintolu stressed.
The Permanent Secretary who shared some of the measures being implemented by LASEMA in managing, reducing and prevention of disasters and risks said the Agency is set to boost the capacity of emergency responders in local council and council development areas, while another back up is currently been built for the Command and Control Centre in Epe.
The Secretary of Ondo SEMA, Mr Olufemi Obideyi, who led some of his team members to Lagos to understudy LASEMA acknowledged that Lagos is the benchmark for emergency management, disaster and risk mitigation not just in Nigeria, but in the West African region.
Mr Obideyi who said he and his team had learnt so much during the two-day study tour announced that they would replicate some of the ideas already gathered to mitigate risks such as the one recently experienced in Owo area of the State.
“If you recalled the recent unfortunate attack at Owo, we had it in mind that there’s need to build our capacity, exchange ideas, to build our resilience because emergency management is very important, it’s very crucial, so we came to Lagos to understudy, learn from their success story, their challenges, past mistakes and what the great feat they’ve recorded over the years and since yesterday, we’ve been able to see that there’s a formidable team in Lagos, so we can say kudos to the Lagos State government, to team LASEMA, and as we are standing on the shoulders of a giant; LASEMA and we will be able to look further and farther, some few years to come, we should be able to replicate some of the success stories, I know it won’t be easy, but we are taking on, hard work, dedication, commitment and passion and by the time we put all these together, we know that Ondo SEMA and our people will be better for it” Obideyi explained.
He also urged other States of the Federation to continue to borrow a leaf from Lagos in building the capacity of emergency responders as emergency response, risks and disaster management is a serious business.
In addition to touring LASEMA’s Command and Control Centre in Alausa, the Ondo SEMA team were also taken round other facilities at Oshodi, Onipanu and Igando.