By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Federal Government has expressed concern that recurrent flooding is affecting various facets of live.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, stated this at the 14th national stakeholder’s forum, organised by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) in Abuja.
The theme of the forum is “Flood Disasters: An Imperative for Environmental Governance.”
The Minister said the government was determined to check the trend.
He said that the ministry was collaborating with various relevant stakeholders to ensure that the problem was tackled effectively.
“The Federal Government is concern about the increase in flooding situation causing destruction of many lives, property and agricultural lands, especially in some of the states across the country.
“This year alone, a lot of farmers in the states have lost their farm lands and this situation has caused about increase in the cost of living.
“Flooding has caused a lot of setback in the sector, so, I want to let Nigerians know that the government is worried and concern and seriously working towards addressing the situation.
“The ministry will be presenting a memo to the National Executive Council, (NEC) on flood control including the possibility in tackling it.
“The presentation will be chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. We are going to do that presentation in ways and manners whereby flooding can be prevented,’’ he said.
Abubakar said that the best time to discuss about flooding was this dry season to enable start early preparation on how to mitigate the situation before rainy season would commence.
He advised that people should stop putting structure within the flood plains and indiscriminate dumping of refuse, among others.
Also speaking, the minister of State Environment, Sharon Ikeazor lamented that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Nigeria is hampered by flooding, adding that checkmating flooding is a major leap towards the attainment of the SDGs in Nigeria.
She assured that NESREA is ever ready to confront the menace of flooding through the enforcement of preventive measures, just as she called on all stakeholders to partner with NESREA in preventing flooding in Nigeria.
“I call for the cooperation of all stakeholders, especially Ministries, Departments And Agencies (MDAs) along with NESREA in all this important duty of preventing the cases of flooding in the country.
“Other stakeholders must also have roles to play, including the regulated community, the judiciary, the academia, the civil society organisations, the faith-based organisations and the citizenry.
“Let us take the abating of flooding as the battle in which we shall no longer lose ground. It has become so imperative,’’ she said.
Also, the Director-General of NESREA, Prof. Aliyu Jauro, said that the agency was committed to implementing some of projects that would help to minimise the flooding in the country.
The DG said the agency seeks to engage stakeholders on specific environmental issues with a view to preventing the re-occurrence of flooding.
Jauro said the agency carried out environmental awareness activities specifically on flood control all over the country through town hall meetings, road shows, visitations to markets, schools and worship centre’s.
He said almost all the sectors of Nigeria have been affected. He assured that the agency is well positioned having been armed with it’s amended establishment Act to operationalize the gazzetted National Environmental Regulations, some of which will help control flooding in Nigeria.