President Bola Tinubu has issued immediate directives to formulate a comprehensive plan to counter the looming threat of flooding nationwide.
This announcement was made by Mr. Stanley Nkwocha, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Communications, Office of the Vice President, in a statement in Abuja.
In accordance with the President’s instructions, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi has been appointed as the Chairman of a committee tasked with developing a roadmap to harmonize various reports, including the recent National Economic Council (NEC) report on the flood, the 2022 National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, and other national assessments related to flooding.
Senator Akon Eyakenyi, the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, will serve as the Vice Chairman of the committee. The committee is expected to submit its recommendations within seven days.
Here’s an excerpt of the statement:
- “To this effect, he (Tinubu) has appointed Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi as the Chairman of a committee to produce a road map to harmonise the recent National Economic Council (NEC) report on flood.
- “And 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, Sen. Akon Eyakenyi, will serve as the Vice Chairman of the committee which is expected to submit its recommendations in seven days.”
Nkwocha further revealed that during an emergency meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the President emphasized the need for swift action on all available reports.
Call for proactive measures in addressing flood crisis
Shettima, highlighting the importance of proactive measures over-reactive responses, noted that while the situation, as reported by the Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA), is not dire, it is essential to be well-prepared.
Shettima emphasized the importance of a coordinated roadmap that involves the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and the Federal Government. This roadmap aims to address the flood crisis in Nigeria effectively.
The Vice President will engage with the Chief Executives of NEDC and NDDC to allocate responsibilities in line with the states under their coverage.
What the VP said about proactive measures:
- “Based on the submissions by the Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) , 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.”
States like Ebonyi, Kogi, and Benue will receive assistance from government savings to prepare for potential flood events.
The sharing of responsibilities underscores the immediate need for implementing the roadmap.
- “We have to share responsibilities and hence the immediate need for the roadmap to be implemented,” Shettima stated.
Composition of the committee charged with addressing flooding concerns
The committee includes key officials and experts from agencies like NiMet, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), National Water Resources Institute, NEMA, and NiHSA, as well as Governors from several affected states and representatives of others.
Rukaiya El-Rufai, the Special Adviser to the President on NEC and Climate Change, will serve as the committee’s Secretary.