National Assembly should be blamed for poor flood control — Group

A group under the aegis of Critical Stakeholders has said that Nigerians should hold the nation’s lawmakers responsible in the event there is a flood disaster in the country.

According to the group, the National Assembly can do a lot more to help prevent flood disasters across communities in the country, urging the nation’s lawmakers to help tackle the impending flood challenge.

The call of the group is coming on the heels of an appeal by Amnesty International urging the Federal Government to take concrete steps to avoid a repeat of last year’s flash flood, which killed more than 612 people across the country.

It is also coming in the wake of a similar call by the Good Governance Initiative, a Civil Society Organisation, which chided President Bola Tinubu for asking the National Assembly to amend the 2022 supplementary appropriation act to make provision for N500 billion to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.

Following the president’s demand that the National Assembly should amend the 2022 supplementary appropriation act to make provisions for N500 million to cushion the effect of subsidy removal, the lawmakers were reported to have substantially tinkered with the act and slashed provisions made for flood control.

A copy of the amended budget sighted by our correspondent showed that the sum of N10m each was allocated for three road projects in Nasarawa.

Similarly, N10m was each allocated for the rehabilitation of Idah-Nsukka Road, section IV and section V of Kano-Maiduguri Road, and Augie-Bubuche Road in Kebbi state.

In a statement issued in Abuja, the Coordinator of the group, Godwin Ezenwata disclosed that the decision by the National Assembly to alter the 2022 supplementary budget, which made copious provisions for flood control infrastructure, was a great disservice to the nation’s desire to mitigate flooding.

The group appealed to the president to halt the ongoing amendment by the lawmakers and stressed the need for equal distribution of the N180bn “since virtually all the states have projects need and are gearing up for flood disasters”.

“This was a budget that had a provision of about N700bn but slashed to a paltry N185bn out of which lawmakers shared the projects with the sum of N50bn allocated for two projects in Jigawa State while other projects of similar importance were allocated just N10m,” he lamented.

The group, however, noted that contracts for most of the erosion control projects have been awarded with works at advanced stages of completion.

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