In a proactive move to mitigate the impact of flood disasters in the country, President Bola Tinubu has constituted a committee to produce a road map for flooding.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Communications, Office of the Vice President, Stanley Nkwocha disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
To this effect, he said, President Tinubu has appointed Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, as chairman of the committee to produce a road map by harmonising the recent National Economic Council (NEC) report on the flood, the 2022 National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan as well as all other national reports on the flood.
He said, the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, would serve as vice chairman of the committee which is expected to submit its recommendations in seven days.
According to him, at an emergency meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the behest of the President, President 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 said.
VP Shettima noted that a feasible roadmap would address the flood crisis in Nigeria, adding that responsibilities would be shouldered by the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the Federal Government.
He stated: “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 the 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 include 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.