Tinubu Orders Immediate Action Plan to Tackle Flooding

•Kogi governor-led committee given 7 days to submit report

Deji Elumoye in Abuja

President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, directed an immediate plan of action to mitigate the impact of any flood disaster in the country.

This is part of actions being taken by government to stem the tide of any impending flood crisis across the nation.

Subsequently, the president has appointed Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, as chairman of the committee to produce a road map.

The committee is to harmonise the recent National Economic Council (NEC) report on flood, the 2022 National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan as well as all other national reports on flood.

The Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, will serve as vice chairman of the committee, which is expected to submit its recommendations in seven days.

At an emergency meeting presided over by the Vice-President, Senator Kashim Shettima, at the behest of the president at the State House yesterday’s evening, Tinubu gave marching orders to the committee for an action plan on all the reports, saying it was best to be proactive than to be reactive.

“Based on the submissions by the DG of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, the situation is not that terrible but to be forewarned is to be forearmed. The submissions by the other relevant stakeholders are equally poignant and we can’t afford to take chances.

“Though the situation is not as bad as we might think, we need to set up a committee so that the report of the Presidential Committee and the 2022 Federal Executive Council – approved broad preparedness plan should be harmonised and  implemented immediately,” the vice-president stated this as the president’s position.

Shettima noted that a feasible roadmap would  address the flood crisis in Nigeria, and that  responsibilities would be shouldered by the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the federal government.

“I deliberately invited the NEDC and NDDC so that with whatever resources that NEMA has, they have to be released to the states so that they can start making preparations for any eventuality.

“Based on the presidential directive, I will meet with the Chief Executives of the NEDC and NDDC for states that are under their coverage. There should be interventions from them. For NEDC, they can take care of Taraba, Bauchi and Adamawa. For NDDC, they can take care of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta and Cross River.

“For states like Ebonyi, Kogi and Benue, we will mobilise from our savings and deploy same to assist them. We have to share responsibilities and hence the immediate need for the roadmap to be implemented.”

The Chief Executives of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), National Water Resources Institute, National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA) and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) all made presentations with reactions from Governors of Bauchi, Kogi, Ebonyi and Cross River States.

Akwa Ibom and Nasarawa State Governors were represented by their deputies.

Other members of the committee included Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo; Minister of State for Environment, Kunle Salako; Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, Bello Muhammad Goronyo; Chief Executives of NEMA, NIWA and NiHSA, among others.

The Special Adviser to the President on NEC and Climate Change, Rukaiya El-Rufai, will serve as secretary of the committee.

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