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February 26, 2024
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Immediate past Permanent Secretary, FCTA, Mr Adesola Olusade (4th from left); pioneer DG of the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency, Dr Abbas Idriss (6th), and other dignitaries during an even in Idriss' honour in Abuja on Wednesday

Dr Idriss bows out of FEMA after 10 years as DG

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By Philip Yatai

Dr Abbas Idriss, on Wednesday, officially bowed out of the Federal Capital Territory Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as its pioneer Director-General (DG), after serving  the agency for 10 years.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Idriss was appointed as the pioneer DG of the agency in 2013 and served for 10 years until his retirement in September 2023.

Idriss described his experience as very fulfilling while speaking  at a send-off ceremony organised in his honour by the leadership of the agency in Abuja.

He, however, said that much needed to be done to position the agency in its rightful position to make the desired impact.

He emphasised training and retraining as crucial to achieving the mandate of the agency, adding that any untrained brain would not generate fresh ideas.

He commended all FEMA stakeholders, whose partnership ,he said, had  been crucial to driving the successes recorded in the last 10 years.

The former FEMA boss expressed regret that the  bill establishing  FEMA had not been assented to, saying it was affecting the strength and growth potential of the agency.

“It is my hope that the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike would look into the issue and facilitate the signing of the FEMA bill to strengthen the operational efficiency of the Agency.

“In furtherance of the agency’s success, the management must prioritise the issue of staff training in relevant courses capable of improving the operational efficiency of all departments.

“Great attention must also be given to staff welfare to keep their morale high,” he said.

The acting DG, Mr Mohammed Sabo, said that Idriss and his team nurtured the agency to the enviable heights attained presently.

Sabo said that over the years, Idriss’ unwavering commitment, visionary leadership and tireless dedication had played a pivotal role in shaping the landscape of emergency management within the territory.

According to him, Idriss’ tenure was marked by integrity, professionalism, and steadfast dedication to the principle of public service.

On her part, Mrs Florence Wenegieme, Director, Forecasting, Response and Mitigation, FEMA, described Idriss as a workaholic, a mentor, and a seasoned professional with passion.

According to her, the pioneer DG laid the very foundation upon which FEMA was built and positioned it on the path of progress.

Also, Mr Adesola Olusade, the immediate past Permanent Secretary, FCTA, said that Idriss’ due diligence and hard work had strengthened local response to emergency situations.

According to him, the success of the pioneer DG will be measured by the number of disasters that were avoided in the FCT under his stewardship.

On his part, Mr Soji Adeniyi, the Convener, African Network for Disaster Risk Reduction, expressed excitement that Idriss was leaving the agency very strong.

“This is someone who genuinely believes in the need for us to have an agency for disaster management and from scratch he has been able to build it to the level it is today.

“I recalled that the very first training I facilitated for them, they were less than 10 staff and the last training I facilitated for them before he left office, they were over 48 staff.

“That is to tell you the trajectory of the growth that they went through over the years, but he still has a lot to give for the benefit of the staff,” he said.

NAN reports that the pioneer DG was honoured with a Pioneer DG Award and an Exemplary Leadership Award by the staff of the agency. (NAN)

Edited by Buhari Bolaji

Philip Daniel Yatai

Principal Correspondent, NAN Abuja
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