States in the country have been asked by the federal government to urgently face their duties and ensure flooding within their regions is adequately managed.
Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu who stated that calls for the federal government to respond to all outbreaks of natural disaster does not display an understanding of Nigerian law, urged Governors in the country to use their monthly budgets for emergency management to address issues of flooding.
The statement read;
“As many communities continue to reel under floods across the whole federation, President Muhammadu Buhari assures that the situation is under continuous monitoring and the government at the centre will keep sending teams to assess the situation with a view to rendering all necessary help.
“The president extends heartfelt condolences on behalf of the nation to communities in towns and villages, many of whom have lost dear relatives, suffered extensive damage to property, and endured the destruction of crops and farm lands.
“While expressing his concerns over the hardships being faced by people due to this natural calamity, the president noted that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had written to each of the 36 states of the federation, through the states’ respective governors, advising on the appropriate action to take in view of the gloomy forecasts of the rains this year.
“The structure of the response mechanism on this issue is clear: the government at the center should step in to directly address national-level emergencies and that local government councils and the states are the first responders in all situations.
“Calls for the federal government to respond to all outbreaks of natural disaster do not just display an understanding of Nigerian law.
“While not a national-level emergency, the ongoing flooding is an emergency nevertheless. Nigerian lives and property are at stake.
We call on governors of those states that have swung into action and engaged the necessary gear to continue with their efforts, and those that have not, to immediately face their duties of managing the flooding within their jurisdictions – that is, the job that the president, governors and council chairmen have been elected to do.”
Shehu in the statement released on Tuesday August 23, revealed that state governments are placed on monthly allocation for addressing emergency cases. He further disclosed that 2.32 percent of derivation funds is kept aside for ecology and disaster management.
The statement added;
“Each of the three tiers, the local government, the state government and the federal government has a sizeable budget at its disposal, allocated monthly precisely for dealing with these state-level natural emergencies, as well as federal agencies dedicated to doing the same,” he added.
“It is not clear why some of the state governments in question are not already drawing upon those funds to tackle the current emergency, and the general population is misguidedly calling on the federal government to intervene in all situations.
If those monies are, for whatever reason, no longer available, the affected states and local councils must immediately contact the relevant authorities to explain what has happened with those funds.
“Under the prevailing revenue allocation formula, 2.32 percent of derivation funds is set aside for ecology and disaster management.”