The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Muhammad Sani-Sidi, has emphasised the need for government to mobilise resources that will facilitate its disaster risk financing, insurance policy and strategy for weather phenomenon such as drought and flood.
He however expressed the feeling that the Federal Government has revealed plans to consider the possibilities of entering into the African Risk Capacity (ARC)’s insurance policies to mitigate misfortunes such as flood and drought in the country.
“Africa Risk Capacity is aiming to reach a total of 30 countries with corresponding insurance coverage of $1.5billion to $2 billion by 2020 for drought, river flood and cyclones” he said at a multi-stakeholders workshop in Abuja.
According to him, this coverage will indirectly be of benefit to over 150 million persons in the continent of which Nigerians are expected to be benefit.
He urged insurance companies to rise up to the challenge of advocating for insurance covers on farmlands, houses and critical infrastructures, as it is practically impossible for the government to compensate everyone.
Speaking also at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mamud Isah-Dutse, said disaster risk financing is one of the key components of disaster preparedness and response.
Represented by the Deputy Director, International Economic Relations, in the Ministry, Dele Akinrolabu, said Nigeria is increasingly becoming exposed to some of these natural disasters that ARC is designed to address.
He urged participants of the workshop to engage in productive discussions on how best Nigeria can under the ARC framework optimally minimise loses occasioned by these disasters.
On his part, the ARC had earlier urged the Nigerian Government to key into its comprehensive insurance policy to enhance better response plans and assistance in events of disaster.
Director General of ARC, Mohammed Beavogui, who was represented by ARCs Director on Policy and Technical Services, Ekhosuehi Iyahen, said ARC is a special agency of the African Union, AU that was set up to assist member states to better manage, prepare and respond to disasters on the continent.
According to him, ARC provides governments with access to immediate funds for early and planned responses to natural disasters taking into cognisance four critical elements; early warning, contingency, planning, insurance and adaptation finance.
He said ARC takes the burden of flood, drought and associated risk away from governments, enabling them to build resilience, better plan, prepare and respond to extreme disaster occurrence.
Beavogui said the workshop was aimed at initiating the programme in Nigeria and sensitising stakeholders on how the programme can be rolled out in the country.