Devastating Flood Coming In 2023 – FG Warns
After this year’s home-wrecking events, Nigeria may experience another devastating flood come 2023, says the federal government.
The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Mohammed, raised the concern on Monday in Abuja, Naija News reports.
Mohammed said it was unfortunate that early warnings given to the states in 2022 by NEMA were ignored. He stated that more devastating effects of flooding would be witnessed across states next year if the government did not take proactive actions at all levels.
The official noted this when he appeared before Senator Yusuf Yusuf’s (APC, Taraba Central) led Senate Committee on Special Duties to defend the 2023 budget in Abuja yesterday.
Mohammed said: “Let me also use this opportunity to prevail on the committee to intervene on our behalf. We have written to states several times. This flood is still coming in 2023.
“They must be advised early to set up SEMA and local emergency committees and fund them adequately. We gave a similar warning last year, but our advice was ignored.”
Mohammed expressed further concern that despite early warnings issued to state and local governments whose areas were flood-prone, none of them had taken any positive steps to guard against it.
He, however, explained that the Federal Government had already opened up the nation’s silos and released 12,000 tonnes of grains, which were shared with all 36 states.
The NEMA Director-General advised state governments to do more and be proactive in disaster management instead of abandoning it to the federal government. He said the National Assembly should help to inform the states early enough to avoid another devastating effect.
NEMA Lack Adequate Personnel
Mohammed said his agency lacks personnel for disaster management and would admonish the state governments to help.
In her remarks, a committee member, Senator Uche Ekwunife, PDP, Anambra Central, expressed doubts over the possibility of the National Assembly telling states and local governments to put in place an arrangement that could prevent flooding.
She said: “The National Assembly is an independent institution that is not answerable to any state. The states are also not answerable to us.”
“We can only appeal to them, but our constituent has a greater role to play by telling the state governments to act fast on the NEMA warning.”
NEMA challenged residents of the affected areas to hold their governors accountable for all the damages caused by the flooding because it was beyond the mandate and jurisdiction of the National Assembly.
Senators, who urged NEMA to request additional manpower through the Head of Service to the President, stressed the need to review the actual conditions of service of NEMA so that the staff could enjoy an extraordinary salary scale.
Also speaking, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, PDP, Osun, appealed to states to use the huge financial resources available to them, especially the ecological funds, to address the environmental challenges confronting them.