Monday, 12 May 2014

EXCLUSIVE: NSA Partner NEMA, Navy, Other Agencies on Crisis Response Training

Partnering the National Emergency Managemt Agency (NEMA), Nigerian Navy (NN) and other agencies, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), yesterday in Lagos coordinated a crisis response training for agencies in the maritime sector.

Codenamed Exercise Ajowa, the emergency training which was carried out at eight nautical miles South-east of the Lagos Fairway Buoy, was done in conjunction with the European Critical Maritime Routes in the Gulf of Guinea (CRIMGO) to enhance interagency cooperation in maritime crisis situation.

Hosted by the Western Naval Command (WNC), under the command of the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade, with series of lectures on disaster management and National Disaster Response Plans, the exercise culminated into a sea exercise whereby all the necessary stakeholders had the simulation of the real-life situation.

Other agencies that took part in the exercise were the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Custom Service (NCS), maritime arm of the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) and Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Speaking with journalists, the FOC, Rear Admiral Alade said, "At sea, a scenario based on a maritime disaster played out and various agencies acted out their parts in the rescue operation, the objective, which was to assess the level of coordination of agencies in response to a maritime disaster.

"It is part of the National strategy to enhance national response to disasters and it  is hoped that as we go along, the objectives of this partnership will be greatly enhanced."

The Project Coordinator, European Union CRIMGO, Eric Glotin, said the exercise is a collaboration whereby seven different agencies work together to solve the challenges that arise in emergency situations.

He said, "We have three aims for this exercise and one is operation, the second is assessment and the third is communication in crisis. It is important because security is paramount.

"We are here to support in two ways, one of which is to have a proper picture of response to emergency and the other is to teach how to communicate with the press in emergency situations because many stakeholders are not prepared to communicate with the press."

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