The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Thursday called for stronger partnership with journalists on reporting disaster occurrence in Niger state.
Mrs Lydia Wagami, Head, NEMA Minna Operation Office, made the call in Minna during a one-day forum with journalists.
She said forming a synergy between both parties has become imperative because an effective and transparent reporting is a vital condition for a just and harmonious disaster management.
Wagami said as a result of this the media is an integral part in disaster management as information on disaster occurrence were being disseminated to the public through the media.
“The meeting is to create synergy and better collaboration between NEMA and media houses. It is to also provide a forum for various gaps to be close and have a better understanding of one another.
“This is especially to let the media know of the role they are expected to play while reporting disaster, this is to always confirm the actual number of casualties when there is disaster before feeding the information to the public,” she said.
She added that the forum for stakeholders in disaster management, first respondents to emergency and journalists to understand their various roles in managing disaster.
NEMA official noted that the forum would go a long way in creating a better understanding between the agency and the media.
Also speaking, a participant, DSP Abubakar Dan-inna, Public Relation Officer of the Police Command in Niger, said that the forum would create a better understanding on the role of the police as first respondent to emergency.
“As first responders to emergency, we have learned a lot especially on our role we are expected to play when there is an emergency and I commend the agency for this,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised by NEMA with participants from the various media houses in the state, the Nigerian Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, Fire Service.