The House of Representatives has urged the federal government to make an urgent request for supplementary budget of N100 billion or more for Ecological Project Office, EPO, as intervention fund to execute the programs of the agency nationwide.
It also mandated its Committee on Appropriation to make provision of N200 billion in the 20023 appropriation year, for the Ecological office in the Presidency for flood preparedness, mitigation, response, recovery and relieve packages.
It equally asked that N5 billion be released into the already created special ecological fund account of each state of the federation and FCT to mitigate the effect of flooding that recently ravaged the entire nation.
The resolutions came on the heels of a motion, titled “Need for Strategic Planning and Funding to Prevent the Reoccurrence of Flood and Erosion Disasters in Nigeria in 2023 and Beyond”, moved at plenary under matters of urgent public importance by Henry Nwawuba and Ibrahim Isiaka.
Presenting the motion, Nwawuba expressed worry over the recent flooding incident that ravaged the country, saying the warning by the authorities was not heeded.
He said in the view of another one predicted by the Nigerian Metrological Agency, Nimet, another round of flooding was imminent next year, asking the authorities to take proactive measures.
“We pay deaf ears to the sound and presence of risks associated with flooding, one thing is clear, that they will surely occur whether we plan for them or not.
”But, strategic planning and adequate funding will help mitigate the effects and facilitate quick and better recovery of lives, properties, economy and overall environment. with the public outcry of limited funds, reactive response should be changed to proactive response to increase effectiveness of management and reduce losses of life and properties.
“As far back as January 2022, the Nigerian Metrological Agency, Nimet, warned of impending floods across most states in Nigeria, especially flood prone areas and could continue until the end of November 2022 in many states across the nation.
“In 2012, 32 of 36 states were affected by flooding, with 363 people killed, over 2.1 million people displaced, about 7 million people affected and a total loss estimate of N2.6trillion recorded.
“In 2022, 33 of 36 states and the FCT are affected, that is 92% of the entire country, over 600 people killed. Over 1.4 million people displaced and over 2.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance with over 60% of this number being children.
“Nigeria appears to be unready for climate change with ranking of 162 of 180 countries in the environment performance index.”
“The fact that the dimensional impact of this unfortunate situation are that we can expect a food crisis, humanitarian crisis, health crisis and revenue shortfall in Nigeria come 2023.
“Most of the affected states are agrarian economies which raises concern about impending food crisis, with 110,000 hectares of farmlands completely damaged. Olam rice farm submerged worth over $15 million, 10 hectares of rice farm submerged in Kogi State.”
Management Agency, NEMA, to the effect that the heavy downpour will recur next year, 2023.”
Adopting the motion, 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.
It also mandated the committee on legislative compliance to ensure compliance and report to the House within one week.