Director-general of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Abbas Garba Idriss has announced his resignation as the director general of the agency.
Idriss, who has been the director general since the creation of FEMA in 2013, while announcing this yesterday at the 22nd management meeting of FEMA, described the meeting as the last for him as DG of the agency.
According to him, as the pioneer director general, he ensured that management and staff were able to nurse the agency from inception in 2013 to one of the best among its peers in Nigeria through sheer determination, uncommon vision, and a strong will to succeed amid multi-faceted challenges common to newly established organisations, which in most cases, often result to their death on arrival.
“I ensured that the Agency shortly after its creation, was able to pass its baptism of fire when bomb blasts rocked the FCT and ravaging floods were the order of the day- through a carefully coordinated approach, based on robust stakeholders’ engagement and synergy that leverages on the preventive and response capacities of partners to obtain maximum results in managing disasters in the FCT”, he said.
He said disaster response under his watch saw FEMA, achieving the five minutes emergency response time for fire and other incidents within the city centre to save lives and property.
“Within this period, we have been able to build a network of over 10,000 volunteers, community vanguard, and disaster marshals across the six area councils of the FCT and train them year in and year out to improve their capacities as first responders to emergencies in their respective communities.
“This is as part of our conviction that it is better to prevent disasters or mitigate their impact rather than giving our relief assistance to affected persons”, he said.
Idriss further said that during his tenure he created a high level of awareness among FCT residents on several emergency management issues, especially the need to avoid acts that increase the people’s vulnerability to disaster risk.
“FEMA also established and trained local divers to serve as first responders in flood mitigation and rescue operations, together with town criers as agents of sensitisation in the communities.
“The agency also successfully carried out Hazard Mapping and Vulnerability Assessment of the FCT and documented it to ease stakeholders’ responsibility in tackling each risk related to their mandate; FEMA created a functional website and continues to update it to keep the public abreast of its activities;
“FEMA created social media handles and deployed them to its best advantage to inform the public about issues of emergency and also counter falsehood or rumours capable of misinforming or creating public panic.
“FEMA advises the FCT Administration through recommendations and suggestions as part of its contribution in fashioning policies and programmes bordering on public safety in the Federal Capital Territory.
“For me, today marks the beginning of a new and very important chapter in my life. My heart will always be with FEMA and I am ready at any time to offer advice that will keep the flag of FEMA flying”, he said.