30 years of consistent investment needed to control flooding, says FG

‘U.S. won’t stampede us with travel advisory’

It will take 30 years of consistent financial investment to control the devastating flood in Nigeria, the Federal Government said yesterday.

This came as 612 persons were confirmed dead and 1.4 million displaced following the recent floods in the country.

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, declared that nobody can stop the natural disaster in the country, noting that government could only minimise the impact.

On the details of a joint presentation to FEC by his ministry and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, the minister said despite the early warning system in place, a lot of capital-intensive investment is needed to avert the consequences of flood disasters.

According to Adamu, such investment is not what can be achieved under one administration alone. He said, however, that the present administration had already begun work to produce a flood management masterplan, which will take at least three years to complete.

While noting that flood victims ignored warnings to evacuate flood-prone areas, Adamu also blamed tree felling and degraded soil for the massive impact of this year’s flood.

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, in his submission, absolved the Federal Government of blame for not providing temporary shelters for citizens in vulnerable flood plains who said they had nowhere to go. He explained that proving shelter for victims was the responsibility of states and local councils.

He said from initial assessment, his ministry identified 154 places where transport infrastructure worth N80 billion was damaged by the recent floods in parts of the country.

ON the recent travel advisory by the United States and United Kingdom for their citizens to reconsider travel to Nigeria, citing crime, terrorism, civil unrest, kidnapping and maritime crime, Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed declared that Nigeria cannot be stampeded by whatever any government tells its citizens to do in the country.

Mohammed declared that despite the attempts by terrorists to embarrass the government, security agencies had, in the last few months, taken firm control of the situation.

Speaking against the background of previous assurances he had given, the minister said citizens and non-citizens alike were safe in Nigeria. He said: “Click-baiting, which is, you find a story, which is not verified and you immediately share it, always causes panic.”

“But I want to reassure citizens and non-Nigerians living in this country that security agencies are on top of this matter. Of course, the terrorists would not stop to try to embarrass or intimidate government, but what I’m saying is that this country is safe. No cause to panic.”

On whether government was worried by the perception the advisory could create with investors and steps that might be taken to prevent it, Mohammed advised citizens to desist from spreading unverified news.

Source: Guardian.ng

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