Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) on Monday blamed state governments, estate developers and other individuals for floods which have recently plagued different parts of the country.
Director-General of the agency, Clement Nze, in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said state governments and agencies have repeatedly failed to set up measures but only resort to ‘fire brigade approach’ when flooding eventually occurs.
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“The response to our predictions in terms of taking precautionary measures have not been quite pleasant. It is only when the disaster has occurred that people will now be taking the fire brigade approach.
“State governments, individuals, estate developers have not taken heed to our predictions. If they have done so we won’t be witnessing what is happening today. Response to our predictions are not encouraging,” he lamented.
NIHASA DG, Clement Nze
When questioned on roles played by the NIHSA to curb flooding following their predictions, Nze said the role of his agency is to merely advise and not enforce.
He added that ministries involved in enforcing measures that can prevent flooding are however engaged when flood alerts are issued.
“Whatever we do, we bring in different authorities that are in charge of enforcement. Ministry of urban planning, regional planning, environment, and others, are pre-informed.
“It is their role to implement. We are not an enforcement agency.”
Nze also blamed flooding on poor urban planning, and lack of drainages.
He warned that states located within the coastal region need to put up extra measures to prevent flooding concluding that “Coastal flooding will occur from time to time in places like Lagos, Ondo, and Bayelsa.
NIHSA earlier this year issued flood alert warning Nigerians of imminent increased flooding.
The hydrological agency predicted that no fewer than 74 Local Government Areas (LGA) in 30 states in Nigeria would experience severe flooding in June, July, August, and September.
They also warned that 279 local government areas would experience minimum flooding across the country in the period.