From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said it would be supporting and working together with the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA on the use of Information Communication Technology and Digital platforms to ensure timely and lifesaving search and rescue operations.
NITDA Director General, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi noted that it was the duty of NITDA as government’s apex IT regulatory body which is saddled with the mandate of developing and regulating the use of ICT in Nigeria, to equally within its purview, deploy expertise on virtually all aspects of human and operational endeavors that requires the application of digital technology including NEMA.
The DG made the disclosure when he received Director General of NEMA, Mustapha Habib Ahmad on Friday at his office in Abuja.
NITDA boss who congratulated Ahmad on his recent appointment, described NEMA’s operations as one that required the application of modern technology. He said ICT was crucial to working effectively and efficiently. Adding that the agency needed technologies that could help in getting insights and predicting disasters even before they happened”.
Abdullahi maintained that modern technology would immensely benefit agencies like NEMA by positioning them to always be on their toes ahead of any emerging situation faster, more easily and conveniently as well as providing useful information that would enable the agency to take proactive measures.
The DG therefore, assured the group of NITDA’s unalloyed commitment to incorporating NEMA into its Digital Transformation Working Group (DTWG) to facilitate organizing capacity building for their personnel, to have a full grasp of the process and the best way to deploy and apply the technologies appropriately.
He also pledged NITDA’s commitment to providing technology guidance on effective communication methods with their Zonal and State Offices for quick, easy, and convenient information dissemination of locations for disaster.
Speaking earlier, the NEMA director lamented the agency’s insufficient resources to manage disasters across the country.
“Resources at the agency’s disposal no doubt have been overstretched and can barely meet the various disaster challenges across the nation”. He disclosed.
He stated that resource challenges necessitated the resolve to seek collaborative ties with stakeholders of which NITDA was critical to the realisation of mitigating disaster risk management in Nigeria being the country’s apex IT regulator.
Ahmad said one of the areas that required NITDA’s intervention was to assist in making up NEMA’s Zonal Territorial and Operational offices more effective – to have real time and sudden onset disaster communication, video conferencing, collection of damage and loss assessment data to enable timely lifesaving search and rescue operations as well as deployment of humanitarian support in the right time.