Nigeria Prone to Earth Tremor, Presidential Committee Warns


Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Presidential Committee set up by the federal government on the recent earth tremor that occurred at the nation’s capital, Abuja, between September 3 and 7, thursday presented its findings, warning that Nigeria is now prone to earth tremor.

The Chairman of the Committee and Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NARSDA), Prof. Seidu Mohammed, disclosed this while submitting his report to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnanya Onu.

A statement in Abuja by the Deputy Director of Press, Mr. Abdulganiyu Aminu, quoted the chairman to have said Nigeria is now prone to seismic hazards following recent tremor occurrence in Kwoi, Kaduna State; Saki, Oyo State; and Igbogene in Bayelsa State all in 2016.

The latest, he added, occurred in September 7, 2018 in Mpape, Abuja.

According to him, “Though these earthquakes may have been of low-magnitude, it is now certain that earthquake occurrence has become a potential hazard to the nation.”

Mohammed alluded to the report conducted by Julius Berger on the geological, hydrological and geotechnical investigation for Abuja which identified Mpape as a Shear zone that is weak with several fractures and faults system.

He added that water extraction and recharge imbalance from acquifer is causing hydrological instability along the fractures.

Muhammed stated, “The existence of 110,000 boreholes within Abuja metropolis with about 330,000 metric tonnes of water drilled daily is not suitable, he added.

“In view of the challenges that hinder efficient forecasting, detection and monitoring of earthquakes in Nigeria, the committee recommended the procurement and installation of more seismometers and GPS sensors /equipment for the enlargement and networking of the Nigeria National Network of Seismographic Stations.”

The committee further recommended detailed Seismotectonic study using state-of- the-art equipment of the area and the entire country.

Earlier, Onu said that the federal government would conduct further research and monitor earthquake prone areas in Abuja and other parts of Nigeria so as to predict and forestall probable negative fallouts in future.

He said it is high time Nigeria worked on its building code and materials used in housing construction in case tremor occurs in future, adding that “our buildings and building materials should be such that can withstand any likely tremor.”