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Lawmakers propose N200bn for flood mitigation

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The House of Representatives has mandated its Committee on Appropriation to make provision of two hundred billion in the 2023 appropriation year, for the Ecological Project Office in the Presidency for flood preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery and relief packages.

The House also urged the Federal Government to make an urgent request for supplementary Budget from the National Assembly, for the sum of N100bn or more, to Ecological Project Office as Intervention Fund.

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This was sequel to a motion of urgent public importance by a Member from Imo state, Mr. Henry Nwawuba, on the need for strategic planning and funding to prevent the re-occurrence of flood and erosion disasters in Nigeria in 2023 and beyond.

The lawmaker observed that with each passing year, the impact of flooding in the country keeps getting worse, with damages to property, dangers to lives of humans and other species, traffic delay, interference with drainage and economic use of lands.

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Mr. Nwawuba expressed concern that food inflation, which typically falls during the harvest season, has defied the trend this year, due to the compound effect of flooding and structural bottlenecks.

According to him, the unpleasant experience in Nigeria could have been avoided or mitigated if the government had identified and recognized the peculiarity of the risk to the country is exposed to.

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“This trend would continue and even go worse if we do not see the care of environment as our individual and collective responsibility. The need to change our attitude towards the mother earth is of utmost concern if we really desire to put a check or control to these natural disasters that we are left to contend with. We have observed incident trends of late, amongst localities and even countries; it has become a very disturbing issue, the spate of flood risk exposure amongst vulnerable settlements and communities.”

He noted that strategic planning and adequate funding would help mitigate the effects and facilitate quick and better recovery of Lives, property, economy and overall environment.

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Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, to release immediately, the sum of N5bn into the already created Special Ecological Fund Account of each State of the Federation and FCT, to Mitigate the Effect of flooding.

The House mandated its committee on Legislative Agenda to coordinate a technical working group between the Executive and Legislature as well as Industrial experts and stakeholders to articulate an Action Plan to forestall a repeat of such flood and erosion disaster in 2023 and beyond,

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It also mandated the Committee on Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back to the House within one week.(FRCN)

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