Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters is collaborating with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to equip its disaster response units to enhance their response capability to major disasters in the country.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, disclosed this when he visited the Disaster Response Unit of the 35 Battalion, Nigerian Army, Katsina on Thursday.
Olonisakin, who was represented by Maj.-Gen. Habila Vintenaba said they wanted to assess the unit’s readiness to respond to disasters.
“It has been the plan of the Defence Headquarters to collaborate with NEMA to ensure that adequate provisions are made so that our designated disaster response units are adequately equipped and catered for.
“That will enhance their response capability in terms of major disasters in the country.
“We are with NEMA officials to see their level of preparedness in disaster response, know their problems and where we can come in,’’ he said.
He said the Nigerian Armed Forces was deeply involved in internal security operations across the country.
The defence chief stressed the need for paramilitary agencies to deploy more personnel for disaster management operations.
In his remarks, the NEMA Director-General, Mr Mustapha Maihaja, represented by Air Commodore Akugbe Iyamu, Director, Search and Rescue, said they were satisfied with the level of preparedness of the army unit.
Maihaja said NEMA would provide necessary equipment to effectively manage disasters in the country.
The Commanding Officer of the 35 battalion, Lt.-Col. UG Okodaso, expressed the command has engineers and other experts ready for deployment in case of any major disaster