In a bid to prioritize safety and protect lives and properties, the Federal Government has devised a comprehensive plan to combat flooding across Nigeria. On Thursday, during the 137th National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice President Kashim Shettima, the government approved the recommendations put forth by the Presidential Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response.
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, who attended the meeting, emphasized the committee’s proposal for an emergency budget that is sensitive to climate and flood crises. This approach ensures that sufficient resources are available to address urgent safety needs and provide timely assistance to affected areas. One crucial recommendation involves the establishment of a National Flood Management Council, which will be housed within the office of the Vice President. This council will create a comprehensive structure guided by strong frameworks and policies to effectively manage floods and promote safety measures.
The committee also stressed the importance of allocating a dedicated annual budget for flooding at all government levels. By doing so, the government acknowledges the recurring nature of flood episodes and aims to enhance preparedness and safety measures across the country. Additionally, the creation of the National Flood Management Council will enable informed decision-making in response to flood situations, including the ability to declare a state of emergency when a category 4 flood occurs.
To ensure adequate funding for flood mitigation and response efforts, the committee proposed utilizing the Natural Resource Development Fund. This funding source will enable swift and effective action in response to flood crises, minimizing the impact on lives and properties. Furthermore, the committee focused on strengthening data management for early warning systems. By improving data collection and analysis, timely alerts can be issued to vulnerable communities, allowing for proactive safety measures, evacuations, and resource mobilization.
The collaborative efforts of different stakeholders are crucial to achieving comprehensive flood safety. Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has played a significant role in supporting this initiative. He has generously offered six pivot irrigation schemes valued at $250,000 each to assist other states in enhancing agricultural production and supporting pastoralist populations. Additionally, he provided two drilling rigs capable of reaching depths of up to 2000 meters, which can be utilized by states in need of such support. These contributions highlight the spirit of solidarity and shared responsibility that are integral to ensuring the safety of all Nigerians.
In terms of financial considerations, the government has explored innovative solutions such as the adoption of the Pula initiative. This program focuses on developing parametric crop insurance, covering a wide range of perils including drought, flood, locusts, cyclones, and diseases. With coverage for 22 crops and millions of smallholder farmers and pastoralists, the initiative provides a safety net in the face of agricultural risks. By promoting resilient agricultural practices and protecting the livelihoods of farmers, the government further enhances overall safety and sustainability.
The Federal Government’s proactive approach to combating flooding prioritizes safety and protection of lives and properties. The establishment of the National Flood Management Council, dedicated budget allocations, utilization of the Natural Resource Development Fund, and implementation of parametric crop insurance all underscore the commitment to safeguarding communities. These measures, coupled with collaborative efforts and enhanced data management for early warnings, ensure that Nigeria is well-prepared to mitigate the impact of floods and promote the safety and well-being of its citizens.