The National Emergency Management Agency on Monday alerted Nigerians that there would be another serious flooding in Nigeria next year except for the government at all levels, put in place, necessary precautions to prevent it from happening.
The Director General of NEMA, Mustapha, raised the alarm when he defended his agency’s 2023 budget before the Senate Committee on Special Duties.
He lamented that early warnings given to the states in 2022 by NEMA were ignored.
He noted with concern that the actions of the government led to devastating effects in all the affected states.
He said, “Let me also use this opportunity to prevail on the committee to intervene on our behalf. We have written to states several times. This flood is still coming in 2023.
“They must be advised early to set up SEMA and local emergency committees and fund them adequately.
“We gave a similar warning last year but our pieces of advice were ignored.”
” Despite early warnings issued to state and local governments whose areas are flood-prone, none of them took any positive step to guide against it.”
He explained that the Federal Government had opened up the nation’s silos and had released 12,000 tonnes of grains already which were shared to all the 36 states of the federation
He noted that state governments needed to do more in disaster management instead of abandoning it to the federal government.
Mohammed said the National Assembly should help to inform the state early enough to avoid another devastating effect.
He said NEMA lacked adequate personnel to handle disaster management. State governments should help. We do not enjoy a hazard allowance.
A member of the committee, Senator Lilian Ekwunife, said it would not be possible for the National Assembly to tell states and local governments to put arrangements that could prevent flooding in place.
She said, “The National Assembly is an independent institution that is not answerable to any states. The states are also not answerable to us.
“We can only appeal to them but our constituents have a greater role to play by telling their state governments to act fast on the NEMA warning.
The Committee chaired by Senator Yusuf Yusuf, challenged the people of the affected states to hold their governors accountable because it’s beyond the mandate and jurisdiction of the National Assembly.
The lawmakers also urged NEMA to make requests for additional manpower through the head of the service to the president.
They also stressed the need to review the extant conditions of service of NEMA so that their staff could enjoy a special salary scale.
Another member of the panel, Senator Francis Fadahunsi, appealed to the states to use the huge financial resources at their disposal, especially the ecological funds to address the environmental challenges confronting them.