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FG pledges assistance to flood-ravaged states

05 October 2012, 10:07

Abuja - The Federal Government has pledged to provide special assistance to flood-ravaged states and victims of the flooding across the country.

The decision was reached at the end of a high-level meeting of the Federal Government, the National Assembly and governors of various states affected by the flood.

The closed-door meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja started at about 9.30 p.m. on Thursday and ended in the early hours of Friday.

Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta told State House correspondents that the special assistance from the Federal Government would go beyond the provision of relief materials to victims.

He said the meeting reviewed the interim report by the Presidential Committee on Flood Disaster, chaired by the Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia.

"What was decided was that every governor should go back and put in more efforts. We are already putting in some efforts but we are going to put in some more efforts.

"The Federal Government will continue to also ensure that relief materials get down to the states.

"The Federal Government will also, by tomorrow, look into some further assistance other than just relief materials.By tomorrow we will hear more from the Federal Government."

The governor said that they were more concerned about the short-time intervention to address the urgent needs of the displaced victims

"For today, what we considered were how do we resettle those that were displaced by this flood that have ravaged a lot of states in Nigeria.

"The medium and long-term plans will come back later.

"The scenerio is such that you have an emergency situation where people who have been living in a place for years are displaced.

"So, the first thing is to relocate them to places where you can give them shelter, food and basic social needs," he said.

Speaking in the same vain, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, frowned at those holding government responsible for the occurrence of natural disasters.

He urged Nigerians to stop blaming government for such disasters since they were not man-made.

The speaker, however, assured that the Federal Government would partner with State Governments to address the menace of flood across the country.                                                                                

“Definitely the Federal Government is going to intervene in collaboration with the states to ensure that the  immediate situations are remedied.

“These are natural disasters, they are not man-made, so, you cannot blame government for natural disasters."  

According to him, the Federal Government will continue to respond positively to the yearning and aspirations of all Nigerians.

Also answering questions from State House Correspondents, Gov. Peter Obi of Anambra, said his state was the most affected by flood in the country.

He commended Jonathan for initiating the meeting which was meant to find immediate and lasting solutions to the problem of flooding across the country.

“While, this meeting is a preliminary discussion where the minister reported their tour which as everyone can see so far the report shows that the Anambra situation is the worst.

In her contribution, Mailafia said the situation was a national disaster with traumatising experiences that called for concern.

She said from the committee's assessments, the states in the southern parts of the country were now experiencing high turn of the flooding.

Mailafia said the committee also found out that in some cases it was practically impossible to do nothing but evacuate the victims.

She said as part of long terms measures, government would have to consider buffer dams on the long stretch of the Niger, to intermittently break wild tides on the river to avoid further occurrence.

In attendance at the meeting were Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President, Sen. David Mark; Tambuwwal and
Senate Leader, Sen. Victor Ndoma-Egba.

The governors in attendance were Danbaba Suntai (Taraba), Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna), Ibrahim Dakingari (Kebbi), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarrawa) and Idris Wada (Kogi).

Others are Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Theodore Orji (Abia), Peter Obi (Anambra), Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Lyel Imoke (Cross Rivers.

Deputy governors of Bayelsa, Kwara and Plateau also attended.

The Director-General, National Emergency Management Authority, Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe and Minister of State, Works, Bashir Yuguda were also in attendance.



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