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THE Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has handed over Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and related software to the Nigerian government through its Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development on Friday.
The equipment, made up of eight desktop computers, UPS and printers each, one heavy-duty photocopying machine as well as two projectors, were purchased under a signed grant agreement between the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) and the ECOWAS Commission.
Financed by the European Union (EU), the set of equipment is said to have been provided for the benefit of the Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in aid of greater monitoring, detection and amelioration of disasters in the country.
Handing over the equipment at a ceremony which took place at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender Dr. Siga Fatima Jagne said the delivery of the equipment is part of the ECOWAS capacity building and institutional strengthening support of the national disaster management and civil protection agencies in the ECOWAS region.
She disclosed that sourcing of the equipment arose out of the need expressed by the ECOWAS Member States to further strengthen data collection capacity and emergency operations especially because of the growing impacts of climate change where evidence-based data and information are essential and necessary for the enhancement of decision making while responding to complex climate-related hazards including the ongoing global COVID-19 and post-pandemic recovery.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, representing Minister Jalal Arabi lauded the collaboration between the government of Nigeria and ECOWAS adding that the regional organisation has been facilitating sustainable integration by creating safer and resilient communities.
“The equipment will help to build our national platforms on disaster reduction management,” Jalal added.
Also speaking, the Director-General, NEMA Air Vice Marshal M. A Mohammed Rtd, while expressing gratitude for the donation, noted that the equipment will give an additional boost to the response capacities to disasters.
The ECOWAS Commission and the World Bank Global Facility for Disaster Risk Reduction (GFDRR) entered into a four-year grant agreement, spanning 2016-2019, to support ECOWAS in the development and implementation of programmes for the strengthening of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) coordination, planning and policy advisory in West Africa.