The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have committed to working together on emergency management in Lagos State.
They agreed to it on Monday in Lagos, when AVM Emmanuel Shobande, the Air Officer Commanding (AOC), NAF Logistic Command, Lagos, paid NEMA a courtesy call.
According to Shobande, he came to NEMA with his team in order to forge relationships with Agencies who share his professional interests.
You will recall that AVM Emmanuel Olanrewaju Shobande, is a Distinguished Service Star, Passed Staff Course, Fellow Defence College, Master of Science, Member National Institute of Management was born on 24 March 1967. He hails from Abeokuta North Local Government Area of Ogun State. Shobande was enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force as a member of Regular Course 40 and was Commissioned Pilot Officer on 25 Sep 1993.
The Air Officer Commanding Logistics Command has attended several courses both locally and abroad. Some of which include: BSc Physics from the prestigious Nigerian Defence Academy, Officers’ Engineering Course at the then Technical Training Group Kaduna, Ab-initio and Basic Flying Course at 401 Flying Training School Kaduna, Transport Conversion Course at 401 Flying Training School Kaduna, Junior and Senior Staff Courses at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College Nigeria. National Defence College Nigeria as a member of Course 24. Commercial Pilot License Course at Flight Safety International, United State of America.
“If you really want to work, report, you look around; there’s no way you can work alone.
“Apart from working internally within the Air Force and our unit, we need to look outwards to the ones that we can work together with, that we know that can work effectively.
“We look around and identify such units or such departments and reach out. We are here, we are to work,” he said.
According to Shobande, NAF and NEMA have a tradition of collaborating and working together for same goal as far as emergency and disaster management is concerned.
He said, “So we have been working together for a while now; we have our officers in NEMA too.
“It’s just important that we come, identify with you, know your staff and see how we can work together. That’s what has brought us here.”
Mr. Ibrahim Farinloye, Zonal Coordinator, South West, NEMA, responded by stating that the NAF and the organization were co-progressors.
He said that prior to the establishment of NEMA, disaster and emergency management was the responsibility of the National Emergency Relief Agency (NERA).
According to Farinloye, NAF’s involvement and initiatives mostly helped ensure NERA’s existence.
“With the transformation of NERA to NEMA, Nigeria Air Force was given specific role because of the sensitive nature of emergency management agency in the country, or anywhere in the world.
“The role of taking charge of a department meant for search and rescue, which is the core mandate of the agency, is specifically allocated to NEMA,” he said
Farinloye said that NAF initiated the purchase of the NEMA’s aircraft used for search and rescue operations and the training of its staff.
He said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, NAF was instrumental in relief delivery and distribution.
“During the COVID -19 pandemic, we turned to the Nigeria Air Force as part of NEMA structure then, because all communications were broken.
“But with the Nigerian Air Force, we didn’t feel flight was delayed or anything and relief delivery, distribution, everything was done through the NAF,” Farinloye said.
He said that NEMA’s air ambulance, which was recently revived,was being manned by officers of the NAF.
Farinloye, who took his visitors on a facility visit of the zonal office, expressed gratitude to the officers and the entire team that came with Shobande.
According to Hybrid News reports the highlights of the visit were exchange of gifts by NAF and their host.