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DG NEMA Calls For Media Collaboration In Reporting On Emergencies, Disasters

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Mustapha Habib Ahmed, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), (2nd right) flanked by other management team of NEMA at media awareness campaign and capacity building workshop in Lagos on Saturday





Mustapha Habib Ahmed, the director general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has pleaded with journalists to always act as gatekeepers against false information, especially when covering emergencies and disasters.

Ahmed made the appeal on Friday in Lagos at a one-day workshop on building capacity and raising awareness with the theme, “NEMA’s Workshop for Media Practitioners on Disaster Reporting,” for publishers, senior editors, and other qualified journalists from the broadcast, print, and online media.

The NEMA’s DG, who was accompanied by a powerful delegation of the NEMA management team, stated that the workshop was an opportunity for NEMA to interact with media practitioners and share useful knowledge and ideas that would aid in their reporting of the agency’s activities.

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Aside from that, he added, the workshop was designed to help practitioners while mediating false information, disinformation, and fake news.

The Media Training Room, Impact Pointe Consultancy Limited, Vista, Radi8, and NEMA worked together to put the workshop together.

The agency’s DG stated that “we intend to foster collaboration and networking between media practitioners and NEMA”.

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Mustapha Habib Ahmed, Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

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In his keynote speech, he added, “Together, we can make sure that timely and accurate information reaches the public, raising much-needed awareness and empowering people to make informed decisions and take appropriate precautions where necessary. Our shared goal is to facilitate effective information dissemination during emergencies”.

A cross session of media practitioners and officials of NEMA in a group photograph

According to him, the workshop was essential so that media professionals could learn more about NEMA’s operations and present the organization as Nigeria’s premier disaster management organization.

“The objective is to provide a clear understanding of NEMA’s remit, Nigeria’s triple response structure, and NEMA’s relationship with subnational actors”.

He said that it is also to create awareness for media practitioners about NEMA’s information dissemination and emergency protocol.

Therefore, in this age of disinformation, I have urged media professionals to serve as gatekeepers. “We trust you to act as the bulwark against misinformation and fake news, as well as the tricks of citizen journalists and fifth columnists,” he continued.

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The workshop included panel discussions, technical presentations, and interactives session.

In his technical presentation, Dr. Onimode Bandele Abdullahi, Director of Special Duties at NEMA, examined the organization’s history, mission, and efforts to manage disasters in the nation.

“Navigating Challenges in Disaster Reporting: Insights from Media Practitioners” was the topic of the panel discussion, which was moderated by Dayo Alao. The panelists included Dr. Daniel Obot, Director of Disaster Risk Reduction for NEMA, Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, Head of the NEMA Lagos Territorial Office, Mr. Hamza Idris, Managing Editor of Daily Trust; and Mr. Dotun Oladipo, Publisher of Eagle Online.

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L-r – Toni Kan, PR and Development expert, Mustapha Habib Ahmed, DG National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and Chido Nwakanma, Communications Consultant and Educator at NEMA’s capacity building workshop for media practitioners in Lagos on Saturday July 15, 2023





Communication Management Expert Chido Nwakanma facilitated the second technical presentation, “Collaborative Approaches in Disaster Reporting Strengthening Partnerships for Effective Communication,” and PR and Development Expert Toni Kan facilitated the third technical presentation, “Ethics in Disaster Reporting; Balancing Sensationalism and Responsible Journalism.”

Maureen Chigbo, President of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) and Publisher of renewsmagazine.net, commended NEMA for the initiative and praised the workshop as insightful and timely. She added that it would improve reporting on disasters and emergencies from the viewpoint of knowledgeable media practitioners.

The Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), established under Act 12 as amended by Act 50 of 1999, was created to manage disasters and coordinate resources for effective disaster prevention, preparation, mitigation, and response in Nigeria.

The organization is currently engaged in a national awareness-raising and capacity-building campaign that is aimed at bringing early warning systems to the most remote areas in order to save as many lives as possible in the event of a disaster.

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