In the wake of an imminent flood crisis looming over Nigeria, President Bola Tinubu has swiftly taken action to mitigate the potential disaster. Recognizing the urgency of the situation, President Tinubu has appointed a high-powered committee to develop an immediate plan of action. This committee, chaired by Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello, will play a vital role in harmonizing and implementing various reports on flood preparedness. The Vice Chairman of this committee is Senator Akon Eyakenyi, the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State, and it is expected to deliver its recommendations within just seven days.
The decision to create this committee came after an emergency meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima on behalf of President Tinubu. The urgency of the situation is highlighted by the fact that Nigeria has been grappling with flooding issues for some time, and proactive measures are seen as the best way to prevent a potential crisis. The President emphasized that it’s better to be forewarned and forearmed than to wait for a disaster to unfold.
The committee, comprised of various stakeholders and government agencies, has been entrusted with a crucial task. Their primary responsibilities include harmonizing the recent National Economic Council (NEC) report on floods, the 2022 National Flood Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan, and all other relevant national reports. This comprehensive approach aims to ensure a well-coordinated and immediate response to the impending flood crisis.
Vice President Shettima pointed out the need for a feasible roadmap to address flooding in Nigeria effectively. To share the responsibilities, the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and the Federal Government will all be involved. This coordinated effort will help mobilize resources, interventions, and support to vulnerable states and regions. The NEDC and NDDC will focus on specific states within their coverage, while other states will receive support through a collective effort.
The committee includes key government officials and agency heads, such as the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of State for Environment, Kunle Salako, and the Minister of State for Water Resources and Sanitation, Bello Muhammad Goronyo. Furthermore, chief executives of critical agencies such as NEMA, NIWA, and NiHSA are part of this effort. The Special Adviser to the President on NEC and Climate Change, Rukaiya El-Rufai, will serve as the committee’s secretary.