By Lekan Macualay:
Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Princewill Ayim has decried the little/no attention his agency gets from the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The SEMA Boss who extolled the state governor, His Excellency Sen. Ben Ayade’s relentless efforts towards the agency informed that Cross River State is rated amongst states with highest number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps, hence, the need for significant attention from the Federal Government.
Mr. Ayim stated this yesterday in a media chat with online media practitioners in the state.
According to Ayim, SEMA is an image making agency for the State Government which is why the governor was very concerned about the welfare of the Agency.
Unfortunately, like every other agencies, Mr. Ayim stated that SEMA has a number of challenges obstructing the free flow of its services.
He lamented that International Bodies are also unaware of the burden that has been placed on the State through the increasing number of IDPs in the State; drawing attention to the fact that Ogoja alone is hosting about 11,230 IDPs which is almost the total population of some Local Government Areas in the State.
Further more, Ayim stressed on the need for housing structures to be erected to enable the agency carry out its assigned tasks. He opined that since Cross River State is a “conflict prone state”, as such the agency will need a well constructed warehouse to enable safe storage of relieve materials and also a budget of about a billion naira to successfully meet it goals and the needs of the public.
Speaking on the employment opportunities SEMA will create in the near future if adequate attention is paid to it, the DG said the employment will cut across the 18 Local Government Areas in the State, thereby taking many job seekers off the streets. He also stressed on the need for volunteers, saying the business of safety is everyone’s business.
In a way to appreciate the National Body of the agency; NEMA, for relieve materials recently donated to the State, the DG said he’ll be in Abuja soon to take part in a workshop that will be organized by NEMA, He said although they are some states that receive more level of attention by virtue of being closer to some top officials of NEMA, he still registered his appreciation for the attention paid to Cross River.
Going Further, since SEMA is charged with the responsibility of managing disaster in the state, natural and man made, the agency is set to collaborate with the Police, the Fire Service, the Ambulance Service, the Red Cross Society, even the Nigerian Communication Commission to create responding services to Cross Riverians in situations of emergencies.
In his closing remarks, he urged Cross Riverians to be at peace with the IDPs, stating that they also have a role to play towards the development of the State.