As another flood crisis threatens to wreck havoc across the country, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has directed an immediate plan of action to mitigate its impact.
A statement issued by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Mr Stanley Nkwocha, said President Tinubu also appointed Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, as chairman of the committee.
According to the statement, the committee will produce a road map by harmonising 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 within seven days.
The decision was taken after an emergency meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima.
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.
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 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.