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Nigeria needs N3.4tn to tackle flood disasters – Presidential council

The Presidential Flood Committee has said Nigeria will need about N3.4tn to tackle flood disasters across the country, particularly during the rainy season.

This was revealed in a press statement signed by Head, Press and Public Relations, Mrs Funmi Imuetinyan, on Monday in Abuja.

The chairman of the committee, who doubles as Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said this during a press briefing in Abuja on Monday, while presenting the recommendations of the committee as contained in a report put together by his team.

The committee, which was raised by the President Muhammadu Buhari, also recommended the establishment of an 18-man National Flood Management Council, to be chaired by the Vice President of the country.

Adamu stated that part of the recommendations to the Federal Government was that an estimated cost of N3.4tn was needed for implementing the proposed 10 strategies contained in the report.

He said the council was necessary because there had not been any one that was set up to address the flood disasters across the country.

“This council is expected to carry out functions that would mitigate against any level of flood disaster, and some of these functions include advising the President on issues pertaining to the declaration of state of emergency based on flood categorisation,” he stated.

He said the proposed 18-man National Flood Management Council would also deal with any other matter that would be directed by the President.

“The council is also to source and provide funding on all flood related matters. It is to coordinate flood related matters in the country,” the minister stated.

The committee called for multi-sectoral collaboration for the mitigation and management of floods in Nigeria.

Adamu said the committee recommended 10 strategic plans, which include a robust early warning system that contained the dynamics of rainfall, catchment characteristic and anthropogenic activities

The committee stated that there was the need for data acquisition and multi-sectoral sharing of integrated flood control information.

The committee, however, pointed out that the federal, state and local governments had not invested adequately in flood management infrastructure, but had been investing on post-disaster projects.

It therefore stated that to curb flooding, adequate funding strategies had to be established, which include annual budgets, ecological funds and natural resource development funds, among others.

This is as the Federal Government unfolded a National Strategic Plan of Action for Flood Prevention and Management in Nigeria through a comprehensive report produced by the Presidential Committee on Flood.

Adamu, while briefing the press on the report of the presidential committee stated President Buhari mandated the committee to fashion out ways of preventing flood disasters in Nigeria within 90 days and in line with Mr. Presdent’s directives, the committee came up with recommendations with adequate potentials to mitigate the impact of flood disasters in Nigeria if approved by Mr President.

According to him, the committee in their recommendations incorporated the Federal Executive Council’s 2022 approved National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan prepared by the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development for Nigeria because of the need for articulated coordination among various stakeholders to achieve effective flood management and implementation of the plan.

He further noted that the report consists of two volumes, the Administrative Volume and the Action Plan which contains all the recommendations on flood.

He added that the mitigation and adaptation strategy of the National Strategic Plan for Flood Management differs from the other phases because it focuses on long-term measures for minimizing flood risks.

The plan includes the Strategic Plan for Flood Mitigation, Financing mechanism, costing of the Flood Strategic Plan and key recommendations.

The Minister said the committee recommended three major strategic intervention areas. viz; the Establishment of National Flood Management Council (NFMC), State of Emergency Declaration and Mitigation and Adaptation Plan.

He added that the council is to advise Mr. President on all issues pertaining to flood management including declaration of State of Emergency, coordination of flood management activities in the country, dealing with any other matters relating to flood management as may be directed by the President as well as sourcing and providing funding for all flood related matters.

He stressed that under the State of Emergency Declaration, Nigeria flood is categorized as follows: Imminent, Minor, Moderate, Major and Destructive Floods.

He explained that Mitigation and Adaptation Plan is derived following series of situational studies, analysis, field evaluations and key stakeholders’ interactions under which ten key strategies to effectively address the incessant flooding across the country were identified.

The key strategies according to the Water Minister include,Data Acquisition for Integrated Flood Management, Coordinated Multi-Sectoral Flood, Early Warning System, Development of Capacity on Flood Management, Development and Management of Flood Plains, Protection of the Environment, Protection of Infrastructure, Reservoir Operation System for Mitigation, Collaboration among relevant Stakeholders, Enhancement of Public Awareness and Community Support and Optimizing the Benefits of Flood to the National Economy.

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