As part of the initiative of the Federal Government to forestall emergency and disaster situation in the country, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) trained sixty-five officers from the six geopolitical zones of the federation for high-level skill and professionalism in a specialized search and rescue training.
The concern of the Agency on the shift in disaster management, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), which encapsulates preparedness, mitigation, response and control as the underlying factor, provided a platform for the training. It was a rigorous and tasking exercise, which lasted for sixteen weeks, about four months in the Academy of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency’s (NDLEA) West Africa Regional Training Centre (RADC) in Jos.
Vice President Goodluck Jonathan said Nigeria require professionalism in search and rescue for efficient and effective disaster management in the country. He said the training of the new Search and Rescue professionals was in the interest of the nation.
Jonathan who was represented by Dr. B.A. Ajakaye, the DG National Oil Detection Spill and Response Agency (NODSRA), stated that the imperativeness of the training exercise was reiterated as a good and welcome development that can further repose confidence in the citizenry in line with safety and security in the face of any emergency and disaster.
The Director General of the Agency AVM Mohammed Audu-Bida (rtd) stated at the closing ceremony that since emergency and disaster knows no frontiers or divides and could happen at any time, it is therefore expedient that measures are put in place to forestall the occurrences. He stated that it is not to wait for disaster to happen but to prepare for it and this why this high-level training was very imperative. In this bid to ensure that disaster management receives centre stage attention in the country, the Agency in collaboration with an Israeli search and rescue and emergency and security training organisation, CST Global headed by a retired Israeli Army General Israel Ziv with the Chief Instructor Mr. Amit Vainer who led in the training. The graduands came from different organisations such as, NDLEA, FRSC, BASEMA, LASEMA, NSCDC, and the Nigeria-Airforce to cut across different organisation to be a multimedia group approach to emergency and disaster whenever it occur.
Audu-Bida was optimistic about the fact the new graduates can beat their chests that they have become first class rescuers and qualified members of Emergency Rescue Teams considering kind of training they have received, which is global in outlook. Stating that in spite of the terrible terrain and inadequate resources but with the right attitude, he said the graduands could provide effective emergency services. However, he urged the graduands to be focused, cooperative and determined and not to be daunted because these qualities will put them in good stead and position them for duty here in the fatherland and beyond.
In a speech delivered by the Director General NDLEA, Barrister Lanre Ipinmisho on behalf of the Chairman Chief Executive of the Agency, he captured the proactive and giant steps taken so far by the National Emergency Management Agency to ensure a sustainable emergency and management scheme for the country. He expressed his enthusiasm at the training programme, which is meant to tackle the challenges that often lead to more chaos in emergency and disaster situation. He challenged the graduands to justify resources spent by the federal government in the training stating to whom much is given, much is expected. He pointed that effective and timely decision-making in operational responsibilities hoisted on the graduands is what will stand them out of the crowd, as such, they must remain dynamic in thoughts and actions by virtue of thetraining they have received. The totality of this is to ensure the security of Nigerians.