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30 years of consistent investment required to check flooding in Nigeria – Minister

The Federal Government has described the flooding that engulfed most states in Nigeria as a natural disaster which will take at least 30 years of consistent investment to control the menace.

As at the last count, the floods is estimated to have left 612 persons dead and over 1.4 million displaced in recent times.

Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, made these claims on Wednesday, while briefing state house correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The position of the Minister comes, less than 24 hours after the President, Muhammadu Buhari, gave the ministers of water resources, transportation and other stakeholders a 90 day deadline to develop a masterplan to check cases of flooding in the country.

Absolving the government of any major blames in the recent flooding incidents, Adamu said nobody can stop flooding in the country, especially when there is no technology to that effect.

He noted that early warning signs were given to vulnerable Nigerians to leave such an environment but many reneged, insisting that the government could only minimize the impact of flood on Nigerians but cannot say the impact of damage it could cause.

The Minister, speaking on a joint presentation to FEC by his ministry and that of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, said despite the early warning system in place, a lot of capital-intensive initiatives remain to be done in future to avert the consequences of flood disasters.

“There is no technology on Earth, none that can tell you the extent of the floods, none whatsoever. You work on the basis of data that you have before. Now that the rains have come that is what hydrology is all about, this is a record and now we’re resetting the clock. So that our future plans will now consider that this is the historical catastrophic level that we will not account for, that is what engineering does. This has never happened before,” he said.

Suleiman went further to explain that desilting a river, as precautionary measures, would cost the government billions of cubic meters of earth or soil or sand.

He went further to state that the country lacks resources to foot such expenditures at this time.

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