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About N3tn would be required to curb and respond to disasters across Nigeria by 2020, the National Emergency Management Agency announced on Friday.

NEMA’s Director-General, Mustapha Maihaja, disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting in Abuja where he also unveiled the National Disaster Risk Management Policy.

He, however, noted that the amount would only handle relief items in the short term, adding that it would be difficult for many states to cope with disaster-risk reduction.

Maihaja said, “It is projected that if we continue with the current business as usual, an estimated amount of N3tn will be required to curb and respond to disasters across the 36 states in Nigeria in 2020.

“And this will be mainly for providing short-term relief and replacement of damaged infrastructure.”

He added, “For many states across the country, taking the DRR (disaster-risk reduction) to a higher level and preventing disasters will be a challenging task.”

To assist in disaster management, Maihaja said NEMA had developed several plans and guidelines, adding that a major stride was the development of the National Disaster Risk Management Policy.

He said the document had directions for supporting measures to strengthen communities, individuals, businesses and institutions to minimise the adverse effects of disasters in Nigeria.

Maihaja said, “It provides a direction for enhancing the ability to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from disasters across all elements in the country.”

The NEMA boss said the policy document focused on four priority areas, which were given as awareness, governance, capacity and resilience.

According to him, it will guide the development and implementation of disaster-risk management plans and programmes of states and local governments.

He urged stakeholders to uphold the contents of the new policy in order to get ahead of the curve of humanitarian need and economic losses.

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