By Ejike Ejike, Abuja
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) said it responded to a total of 53 road emergencies in 84 routes in December 2020.
The director-general of NEMA, AVM Muhammadu Muhammed (rtd) also said the swift emergency responses are a part of NEMA’s “Eagle Eye” operation against road crashes – in conjunction with critical stakeholders.
AVM Muhammed (rtd), who stated this while addressing “After Action Review” meeting of the 2020 “Operation Eagle Eye” in Abuja, however, sadly said that 12 fatalities and 88 injuries were recorded within the period across the country.
The director-general, who was represented at the event by the director, search and rescue, NEMA, Air Commodore Edward Kolawole Adedokun, “the 2020 campaign provided a platform for awareness creation, sensitization of road users and effective response to road emergencies. NEMA deployed 48 specialized vehicles including the Mobile Intensive Care Ambulances, 431 personnel and volunteers for the operation nation-wide.”
He said as part of the concerted efforts to prevent road traffic crashes and ensure prompt intervention on the highways that “NEMA provided support to the lead agency, FRSC, in coordination with other stakeholders at the last year yuletide season covering the period of December 18, 2020 to January 4, 2021.
He said the review meeting was called to evaluate the overall conduct of the operation to proffer solutions to identified shortcomings and said “Nigeria has the largest road network in West Africa and the second largest South of the Sahara, with more than 108,000km of surfaced roads used for the movement of people and goods.”
Prof. Andrew Obafemi, a lecturer with the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, in his presentation titled ‘Challenges of Collaboration in Major Disaster Management’ added that the successes recorded in the 2020 exercise should be used to plan for future exercises.
He said the need for mutual understanding, trust, equal and unsuspicious access to funds as well as doing away with agency’s bureaucracy, as key in recording greater successes.
He also said Nigerians should use the power of the social media as an effective tool in disaster response and management in the country.
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