How Jili turns around SEMA
By Muhammad Hamisu Abdullahi & Usman Gwadabe
Kano State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), which its head office is situated along Sokoto Road within Nassarawa GRA, has in recent time been renovated to a befitting standard.
This was one of dozens of developments recorded since the appointment of Alhaji. Sale Aliyu Jili as Executive Secretary of the agency by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduji of the state during his second term.
In a chart with The Triumph reporters in his office last Friday, the Executive Secretary, when asked how the agency changed its name from initial SARERA to SEMA, explained that, it was a directive from central government.
He disclosed that at the federal level, there is National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which primary duty is to assist citizens of the nation, mostly in times of calamities.
He noted that, in order to have uniform agencies across the nation, the NEMA directed that all similar parastatal owned by state governments shall change their names to SEMA, stressing that without doing this, states would no longer benefit from the NEMA intervention.
Therefore, this is how the agency got the name.
He said the relationship between the two agencies is very cordial, adding that “we work side by side with the NEMA officials in the state.”
The SEMA boss added that, part of the directive is also to establish Local Emergency Management Agency (LEMA) to assist the state office whenever the need arises at the grassroots or local government levels.
He cited that, had such an agency is established at local level of governance, the recent windstorms that affected about five Local Government Areas in the state, would have been handled by the staff of such agency, lamenting that because they are not in existence, SEMA has to send its staff to assess the level of the damage caused by the calamity.
He revealed that discussion has reached an advance stage with the state Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affair and that of Special Duties, which is their mother ministry, to form LEMA in all the 44 Local Government Areas of the state, in order to make SEMA’s activities easy.
On his appointment as Executive Secretary by Governor Ganduje, Alhaji Jili said that he was an associate of Ganduje for over four decades, adding that based on governor’s trust and confidence in him, he decided to appoint him as SEMA boss.
“He want me to make the agency the best among its sisters and I assure you that, I will do my best to maintain the confidence reposed on me. And I will make sure that, other states come here just to learn the technical how of the successes recorded,” Jili disclosed.
He added that part of his transformation, is to rebrand the agency so as to restore its lost glory, saying that no Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) look as good like SEMA in the state.
He disclosed that despite all these giant achievements, the state governor has not increased a single Kobo above what the agency used to receive as overhead, pointing out that the secret behind the successes are transparency, accountability and good management of resources.
The Executive Secretary further disclosed, apart from emergency cases it handles, the agency also has 17 Rehabilitation Centers where orphans, old people and others are catered for, adding that all these are being funded with overhead.
He noted that although some philanthropists use to provide foods to such centres, but the largest percentage of sponsorship is under the SEMA.
The Executive Secretary said his agency has recently assisted people of Rimin Gado, Kibiya, Kumbotso and Gwarzo Local Government Areas, where over 800 houses were affected by windstorms, adding that five persons that died during the calamity, their families were also cushioned.
Jili called on citizens, who are capable of building a house, to ensure that they use of quality materials while doing so, appealing to Imams of Friday Mosques to use their sermons to appeal to residents to implore the habit of drainage clearance.
He added that very soon, the agency, in collaboration with Federal and State Fire Services as well as the state Ministry of Environment and relevant departments, would organise a rally to educate public on importance of drainage clearance.
He said the agency and the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development have some similarities, especially on humanitarian assistance, noting that the duo are dealing with children, orphans, displaced persons and physical challenged in the society.
He appealed to citizens to stop coming to the agency for the sake of seeking support, pointing out that SEMA only entertains emergency cases, where it solely renders assistance on.
He recalled with nostalgia that one of his friends said to him when he was appointed as Executive Secretary that, he prayed to God Almighty not seek any assistance from SEMA as it manages disasters, which he hoped not to fall victims.