Assembly laments Rivers’ exclusion from N1.6b flood victims fund
Experts to provide floodplain mapping
Faced with over 1,000 flood victims in Rivers State, members of the State’s State House of Assembly have frowned at the Federal Government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for exclusion of the state from the N1.6 billion ecological fund.
The Speaker, State House of Assembly, Ikunyi Owaji-Ibani said that Rivers State is among the federating states in Nigeria and wondered why such neglect would be melted on it.
According to him, Rivers was among the 15 States listed by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) earlier this year, that would be affected by flood and it is worrisome that the State was not included as one of the beneficiaries”
The speaker made the remark when the lawmaker representing Asari-Toru Constituency I, Tekena Wellington raised a motion questioning the exclusion of Rivers in the Federal Government ecological fund.
Wellington pointed out in the motion that his constituency, which is a coastal region, and the State at large, had suffered huge loss as a result of flood that sacked many local government areas.
Continuing, the speaker said: “I believe that as Rivers people, we have suffered one fate or the other; the Federal Government is also duty-bound to protect our interest. Beyond citing chapter two of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (amended), the Director General of the National Meteorological Agency, (NIMET), called on residents along the River Niger and its tributaries in Kebbi, Niger, Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Imo, Rivers and Bayelsa States, to be on the alert of very high risk of catastrophic flooding in coming days and weeks.
“Rivers State was included by the Director General of NIMET, which is the agency responsible for the forecast of climatic conditions in Nigeria. So, to my mind, if Rivers State was rightly predicted by NIMET and NEMA is an agency that is also saddled with the responsibility in case of any eventuality, I see no reason Rivers State should not be included, when it has been rightly predicted by the same agency of Federal Government.
Meanwhile, experts in geodesy say, they are poised to provide geotric and other categories of survey controls that can tackle flooding challenges in the country.
Geodesy is a discipline that deals with determination of the size, shape and external gravity of the earth and also in environmental simulation, analysis, modeling and interpretation.
According to the Surveyor General of Rivers State, Elenwo Noel, who spoke at the 2017 Nigeria Association of Geodesy Scientific Conference held in Port Harcourt, the issues of sustainable environmental management and challenges need to be addressed holistically.
He stressed the need for all relevant authorities to strengthen the field and advised teachers to make the subject more easily appreciable and adaptable to encourage Surveyor students to embrace the specialised field of Geodesy to forestall the situation of near extinction of the arm of surveying.
President of the body, Prof.F.I Okeke, urged government to always implement recommendations made by the experts to enable it have a better sustainable environment.