Reps task CBN, NSA, others to review disaster policy

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 15, 20244 min
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The House of Representatives Demand Implementation of New Insurance Scheme

The House demanded the implementation of a new insurance scheme as it tasked the CBN, NSA, and others to review national disaster policy.

The House of Representatives on Thursday tasked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the National Security Adviser (NSA), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and other government agencies to review the current disaster policy framework for national development.

The lawmakers also called on the National Orientation Agency, the Ministry of Information and National Orientation, and the Public Enlightenment Unit of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to embark on public enlightenment and sensitisation campaign nationwide using the various indigenous languages to educate the people on early warning signals, especially on fire during the coming harmattan season.

The Green Chamber further called for a re-examination of the nation’s disaster policy particularly as Nigerians continue to suffer untold hardship occasioned both by natural and man-made disasters. In the past few years across some states of the federation, scores of Nigerians were rendered homeless owing to flooding, erosion, and other environmental-related hazards.

These resolutions were sequel to a motion moved by Rep. Francis Omoleye (APC, Ekiti), during plenary.

In his lead debate on the motion titled, “Call for national disaster insurance scheme,” Omoleye noted that “Billions of Nigerian taxpayers’ funds have been allocated to addressing natural and artificial disasters, yet no significant relief has been provided to affected victims.”

He also added that “Billions of private and public infrastructures are destroyed annually by the combined effects of floods, fire, and storms of unimaginable proportions, hence the need to address the noticeable gaps in disaster mitigation management in Nigeria.

The National Emergency Management Agency, saddled with the management of disasters in Nigeria, has used insufficient resources to manage disasters, often resulting in insignificant budgets and unable to mitigate the actual effects.”

The Ekiti lawmaker said that the affected victims are worst off after each disaster mitigation exercise as hopes and expectations are dashed, leading to huge frustration and suicide contemplations by many, who are often occupationally and habitually displaced.

Adding that “the rise in unwholesome practices by hoodlums and bandits may be linked to the frustrations of victims whose livelihoods, such as farming and animal husbandry, have been lost without future assistance.”

He also expressed worry that institutions responsible for risk management during emergencies are not fulfilling their expected responsibilities.

There is a need to connect the relevant agencies to transform their risk-bearing capacity into multilateral risk-bearing capacity and influence that can put smiles on the faces of victims and having agreed that bold steps must be taken to secure citizens’ futures and address disasters affecting everyone, regardless of class, creed, or gender, and evolve a new mitigation approach.”

The House urged “The National Emergency Management Agency, Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resources and Sanitation, Office of the National Security Adviser, Fire Services Department, National Human Rights Commission, the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Nigerian Insurance Corporation and Representatives of Insurance firms to re-examine the current disaster policy framework for National Development and consider implementing a new national disaster insurance scheme to ensure public confidence.”

Ruling on the matter, the House, presided over by Speaker Tanjudeen Abbas mandated its Committees on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Appropriations, Environment, National Security and Intelligence, Finance, Water Resources, Human Rights, and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Elizabeth Atime

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