Lagos To Tackle Floods With N9bn, Proposes N1.168trn 2020 Budget

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, presents the 2020 Budget estimate at the Lagos House of Assembly in Alausa, Ikeja, on November 8, 2019.

 

 

The Lagos State government has revealed plans to aggressively tackle the floods that hit parts of the state recently.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the indication while presenting a budget proposal of N1.168 trillion for the 2020 fiscal year to members of the State House of Assembly on Friday.

He explained that his administration has tripled the funds earmarked to address the recurrent challenges of flooding in the state.

“In response to the perennial challenges of flooding in the metropolis, we have to triple the capital budget provision to tackle these observed problems from N3 billion in 2019 to N9 billion in 2020.

“We are embarking on massive desilting of major drain systems across the state next year,” the governor was quoted as saying in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile.

He also unveiled the plan to accelerate the growth of the state’s economy by proposing aggressive investments in critical areas of priorities – physical infrastructure, environment, human capital, and security.

READ ALSO: Presidency Confirms Sack Of Osinbajo’s Aides, Gives Reasons

According to Governor Sanwo-Olu, the 2020 budget will be funded from a projected Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of N1.071 trillion while a budget deficit of N97.53 billion will be financed through internal and external loans.

Besides, he disclosed that the fiscal proposal also included a provision for the new minimum wage.

A breakdown of the budget tagged “Awakening to a Greater Lagos”, revealed that 62 per cent, representing N723.75 billion of total spending was earmarked for capital expenditure while recurrent expenditure will take N444.81 billion, representing 38 per cent.

Further analysis shows that about N167.81 billion of the recurrent expenditure will go for personnel costs and other staff-related expenses, representing 22.02 per cent of the total revenue.

The governor noted that this was within the acceptable wage policy which benchmarked 25 per cent staff overheads in the budget.

He was hopeful that the proposed budget would help the state achieve a sustainable social investment and scale up private sector-led economic growth through investment in infrastructure and security.

Governor Sanwo-Olu added that the budget would improve civic engagement in governance and foster partnership with the Federal Government and the civil society.

He noted that Lagos had been facing combined threats from population explosion and climate change, stressing that his administration would earmark huge funds to the environment and public infrastructure.

“Lagos faces an existential threat, arising from the interplay of demographic and climate change. Lagos will continue to be a magnet for multitudes within and outside Nigeria, in search of jobs and economic prosperity.

“These levels of migration put a phenomenal strain on the physical and fiscal resources of the state,” the governor said.

He added, “This budget seeks to aggressively invest in and develop our education, health, and other physical infrastructure sectors.

“As of September 2019, our capital expenditure on works and infrastructure was just N31 billion, which is less compared with N78 billion proposed in the current year. It is our intention to spend N115 billion on physical infrastructure in 2020.”

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, praised the governor for accepting the responsibility to tackle the challenges in the state.

He believes Governor Sanwo-Olu’s activities since his assumption of office have re-assured residents of his zeal to fix the inherited problems.

Obasa promised that the Assembly would ensure the speedy passage of the budget and make it a “New Year” gift for the people.

One Reported Killed As Flood Hits 37 Communities In Benue

 

One person has been reported drowned as flood submerges schools, power installations, and rice farms in 37 communities of Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.

The incident has forced hundreds of residents from their homes as they now take refuge along the Guto-Oweto highway in the state.

The flood is a result of an overflow of the shallow River Benue which could not contain the release of excess water from the Lado Dam in Cameroon.

Residents of Utugolugu, one of the affected communities lamented in an interview with Channels Television that they have been victims of floods since 2012.

READ ALSO: Provide Firefighting Equipment In All Major Markets, Senate Tells FG

 

The floods hit the communities while the people of Agatu, one of the worst-hit areas in Benue from the many years of herdsmen attacks, were still in the recovery process.

During a visit to some of the affected areas, Channels Television uncovered a submerged transformer which holds great danger for anyone who attempts any form of evacuating their belongings.

 

The most dangerous part of the flood was a twenty-minute boat ride to Utugolugu where the entire community was submerged.

Residents in this community practically live in the water, cook on elevated wooden platforms, and sleeps on the roofs of their homes.

Some of the residents, Oigene Haruna and Queen Matthew, urged the government to come to their rescue, saying the suffering was much for them.

 

According to the, their children have no access to their school and no functional hospital while they have continued to live right inside the water for more than three months.

The lawmaker representing Agatu State Constituency in the Benue State House of Assembly, Godwin Edoh, and the Ada’Agatu, Godwin Onah, said the situation requires an urgent intervention of the government.

227 Inmates Escape, Over 100 Rearrested As Flood Sacks Kogi Correctional Home

PHOTO: The flooded correctional home in Kogi. INSET: Some of the rearrested inmates.
PHOTO: The flooded correctional home in Koton-Karfe, Kogi. INSET: Some of the rearrested inmates.

 

A total number of 227 prisoners escaped on Monday while over 100 were rearrested after an early morning downpour in Koton-Karfe, Kogi Local Government Area of Kogi.

The heavy downpour resulted in the flood which caused some parts of the correctional centre including the fence to cave in, thereby giving room for escape.

READ ALSO: Flood Ravages Community, Renders Residents Homeless In Taraba

The Controller General of Prison Jafaru Ahmed who was at the Koto-Karfe correctional center to assess the level of damage on the facility told Channels Television that some of the inmates returned to the centre on their own volition while others were recaptured by security agents.

“As at 3:00 am the flood started and as at 5:00 am the prisoners were able to escape. Some of those who escaped, as I speak to you, are returning.

“Others have been captured following efforts by security agencies including the Police, the Army, and the Navy who have assisted to secure the place.

“Search parties have gone into the bush to recapture others.”

Ahmed, however, described the situation as a natural disaster and added that efforts are on to track the remaining 98 inmates. He disclosed that the inmates will be moved to another correctional home.

Special Adviser the Kogi State Governor on Security, Jerry Omodara, who was also at the scene of the disaster told Channels Television that over 100 of the escaped inmates have been rearrested.

He appealed to Kogi residents with useful information that will lead to the arrest of the other inmates on the run to contact the nearest police station.

This is not the first time inmates will escape from the Koto-Karfe prison as a similar incident was recorded in 2016 when about 13 inmates broke their cells and escaped through the fence.

Ondo Varsity Final-Year Student Swept Away By Flood

 

Heavy downpour which lasted for almost eight hours has claimed the life of a final year student of Ondo State-owned Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Akoko.

Channels Television gathered that the deceased simply called ‘Doyin’, an Indigene of Ekiti State, was swept away to an unknown destination by heavy flood from a canal very close to her residence in the town.

The Commissioner for Agriculture in Ondo State, who is an indigene of the town, Otunba Gboyega Adefarati paid a condolence visit to the scene.

Adefarati cautioned those who are in the habit of blocking the drainages with refuse to desist from such act. He also advised against building houses close to canals, to prevent flooding.

The traditional ruler of the town, Alale of Akungba, Oba Sunday Adeyeye Ajimo appealed to the state and federal governments to come to the aid to the town in controlling flood.

READ ALSO: The Quick Figures From 2020 Budget Proposal

He lamented that properties worth millions of naira have been destroyed in the community while roads, bridges, and hotels with vehicles were badly damaged by the flood.

A statement signed by the Acting Registrar of the University, Opeolu Akinfemiwa directed all academic activities to be suspended till the following day.

According to him, the university is leaving no stone unturned in the quest to find the missing student.

He added that divers and other volunteers have been sought to search the path of the river in a bid to find the missing undergraduate.

The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in charge of Akungba,  Shakiru Ajibola, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), confirmed the incident and said three persons including a landlord of the house where the girl was carried away by the flood were rescued.

He noted that divers were still looking for the undergraduate in the neighbouring rivers.

Three Children Die In Delta Flood

 

Three children have lost their lives in a recent flooding that ravaged communities in Warri North council area of Delta State.

The children – a girl and two boys, from two separate families, were aged two, four and five years old.

Read Also: Two Killed, Six Others Injured In Adamawa Attack

While their parents and members of the community have been mourning the loss, they have also called on the Federal Government to put measures in place to prevent future tragedies caused as a result of flooding.

Death Toll From Spanish Flood Rises To Seven

A handout picture released by the Spanish army’s emergency unit UME shows a flooded area in the eastern province of Murcia on September 14, 2019. Handout / UME / AFP

 

The death toll from torrential rains and floods in southeastern Spain rose to seven on Tuesday after the discovery of the body of a missing 66-year-old Dutch national, local officials said.

The alarm was raised on Sunday after a man was sucked into flood water in a canal at Dolores, a town 40 kilometres (25 miles) southeast of Alicante.

The body, matching a description by the Dutchman’s family, was recovered in San Fulgencio village several kilometres (miles) away, said a central governent spokesman in the region.

Torrential rains battered the area between Wednesday and Sunday, causing widespread flooding and leaving many areas cut off. Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes with help from the army.

AFP

Flood Sacks Six Communities In Niger State

A file photo of a flooded community.

 

 

Six communities in Shiroro and Lapai Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Niger State have been flooded after heavy rains which lasted more than 12 hours.

The Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency, Mr Ahmed Inga, confirmed this to reporters in Minna, the state capital.

The affected communities are Gurmana, Manta, Bunuku, Gungu, and Falele in Shiroro LGA and Gulu in Lapai LGA.

READ ALSO: Policeman Reportedly Kills Motorcyclist In Jigawa

Although no casualty has been reported, several hectares of farmlands, houses and animals were said to have been destroyed by the flood.

Inga said the agency could not yet quantify the extent of damage done, but report gathered so far showed that the disaster was a serious one.

He, however, revealed that the agency has dispatched officials to the area on the directive of the state governor, Abubakar Bello, for an on the spot assessment of the situation.

“We have dispatched two teams to the areas. For now, I cannot say the extent of damage done, but from reports, it is very serious,” the SEMA boss said.

The latest incident comes less than a month after the flood disaster in Minna which claimed the lives of three persons and destroyed several houses and property.

Hundreds Flee Flood-Ravaged Bahamas

People await evacuation at a dock in Marsh Harbour, Bahamas, on September 7, 2019, in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.  Brendan Smialowski / AFP

 

Bahamians who lost everything in the devastating passage of Hurricane Dorian were scrambling Saturday to escape the worst-hit islands by sea or by air, after the powerful storm left at least 43 people dead with officials fearing a “significantly” higher toll.

A loosely coordinated armada of passenger planes, helicopters and both private and government boats and ships — including redirected cruise liners — was converging on the horribly battered Abaco Islands to help with evacuations, both to Nassau and to the US mainland.

But Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said that “Nassau cannot possibly accommodate” all the Abaco victims. He said plans were being hammered out for constructing tents and other temporary accommodations, the Nassau Guardian reported Saturday.

For now, he said, supplies of food and water were adequate, though several witnesses from Abaco contested that.

A cruise ship carrying 1,400 evacuees arrived Saturday in Riviera Beach, Florida, CNN reported.

More than 260 Abacos residents arrived Friday in Nassau on a government-chartered ferry. Another, carrying 200, was set to leave on Saturday.

Residents said conditions on the islands were brutal. They said the smell of unrecovered bodies, along with mounting piles of garbage, was oppressive and unsanitary.

Hundreds or even thousands of people were still missing, officials said, as search-and-rescue teams continued their grim search. Morticians with body bags were beginning to arrive.

Minnis said the death toll — 35 so far in the Abacos and eight in Grand Bahama — was likely to climb “significantly.”

He called the loss of life “catastrophic and devastating.”

The final death toll “will be staggering,” Health Minister Duane Sands said earlier.

A UN World Food Program team estimated that 90 percent of buildings in Marsh Harbour were damaged.

UN relief officials said more than 70,000 people on Grand Bahama and Abaco were in need of assistance. The WFP was sending food and supplies.

The US Coast Guard, Britain’s Royal Navy and private organizations have been helping evacuate island residents to Nassau, hampered by damaged piers and airport runways.

The Coast Guard said Saturday, however, that all Bahamian ports had now reopened. It said it had deployed nine cutters to the islands and that six of its MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters had so far rescued 290 people.

 ‘It’s not right’ 

Chamika Durosier was waiting early Saturday at the Abaco airport. The island, she said, was unsafe.

“The home that we were in fell on us,” she said. “We had to crawl — got out crawling. By the grace of God we are alive.”

She described the increasingly desperate plight of those left behind.

“People have no food. People have no water, and it’s not right. They should have been gone.

“Dead bodies are still around and it’s not sanitary.”

At Marsh Harbour’s commercial port, Miralda Smith, a Haitian national, had arrived overnight on foot and was waiting in sweltering heat with dozens of other evacuees for passage to Nassau.

“We have no water, no electricity — we’re dying,” she said. “It’s really catastrophic.”

Many evacuees were Haitian workers who had seen their makeshift homes in a shantytown known as The Mudd completely flattened.

Those who have made it to safety awaited news of loved ones.

Diane Forbes was desperately searching for her two sons among some 200 evacuees at a shelter in Nassau.

On Tuesday, when last she heard from them, her sons told her that “they were hungry, and the scent of the bodies, the dead, was really getting to them.”

Dorian, a monstrous Category 5 hurricane when it raked through the Bahamas, was buffeting southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada, on Saturday with tropical storm-force winds, the National Hurricane Center said at 11:00 am (1500 GMT).

The Canadian Hurricane Centre predicted a landfall near Halifax and issued hurricane warnings for parts of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Earlier, Dorian brought flooding and power outages but no major damage to the coastal Carolinas and Virginia.

In the Bahamas, the scene was very different, as the newly homeless were growing frustrated at the slow speed of relief and evacuation efforts.

“There’s no gas station, no food stores, my job is gone,” said Melanie Lowe of Marsh Harbour. She survived the storm packed in a two-bedroom apartment with 16 other people.

Hazmat suits and body bags 

Arrangements were being made Saturday to care for the dead and account for the missing.

Mortuary workers in white hazmat suits, blue gloves and masks could be seen in Marsh Harbour carrying corpses in green body bags and loading them onto flatbed trucks.

President Donald Trump offered US support, adding in a video statement that “any cruise ship companies willing to act as stationary housing, etc., I am sure would be appreciated!”

At the Abaco airport on Saturday, Tanya McDermott was waiting with her husband and young son for a plane to Nassau.

With the injured given priority on outbound flights, they waited.

“We are going to wait around all day if we have to,” Tanya McDermott said.

“We are going to hope for the best.”

AFP

Flood: Two Women, Teenager Drown In Nasarawa

 

Three people have been killed following heavy rain in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

The victims – two women and a teenage boy – were said to be returning from a night vigil on Thursday morning before they got drowned in Amba River located along Kilema Road Lafia.

The three persons died as a result of an overflow of the river following the downpour which lasted hours.

Shortly after the incident, Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa visited the area and promised to tackle the environmental challenges in the state.

 

He listed some of the steps to be taken by the government to include expansion of water channels, road construction, and river dredging, among others.

Governor Sule said, “The one thing that has to be done is increase the length of the area that will allow the water to pass, so we would extend the bridge so that we can have more water passing.

“Number two is to ensure that we dredge this particular area of the river to allow for more space, but the biggest problem we have which we will have to talk to our people is that most of the waste from Lafia taking over the places and causing this blockage.

 

The governor, however, warned residents to stop dumping waste on water channels while the government tries to minimise the impact flooding in the state.

“It is the blockage that is the cause of this problem. We have to find a way to avoid that.

“And for this one, we would find a solution, and then we would do the bigger work; that is why we introduced this monthly sanitation so that we can reduce such problems,” he stated.

Eighth Body Found After Morocco Football Match Flood

 

Morocco authorities said Monday they had found the body of a person missing after a flood hit a football pitch, bringing to eight the number of people killed in last week’s tragedy.

The flood took place when a nearby river burst its banks in the southern region of Taroudant on Wednesday.

A 17-year-old boy and six elderly men were killed and have since been buried, while rescuers continued the search for an eight victim who was swept away by the flood, authorities said.

The last body was found some 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the village of Tizret near where an amateur football tournament had been taking place.

READ ALSO: Russia, Iran Blame US For Regional Tensions

Photographs and videos shared on social media showed muddy waters carrying away people who had clambered on top of a building flattened by the flood.

Authorities have opened an investigation and the government has promised to take several measures to avoid such tragedies in the future.

Morocco’s national weather service had warned of the risk of stormy rains on Wednesday afternoon in several provinces.

The heavy downpour followed a dry spell, making the floods more violent, local media reported.

Floods are common in Morocco. In late July, 15 people died in a landslide caused by flash floods on a road south of Marrakesh.

In 2014, floods killed around 50 people and caused considerable damage in the south of the country.

Between 2000 and 2013, a series of 13 major floods killed a total of 263 people in Morocco and caused considerable damage to infrastructure worth $427 million, according to the World Bank.

A study published in 2015 pointed to multiple failures in infrastructure maintenance, prevention, warning and emergency management.

FG Donates Relief Materials To Daura Flood Victims

File Photo of Flood

 

The Federal Government has donated relief materials to victims of Daura community in Katsina State.

The flood victims will also be receiving additional assistance from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, says, “Contrary to the allegations that President Muhammadu Buhari has turned his back on the people of Daura, we can confirm that pre-assessment relief materials were dispatched to the victims within 48 hours of the floods.

READ ALSOHundreds Displaced As Flood Sweeps Five LGs In Adamawa

“Ten trailer loads of building materials including zinc, planks and cement, as well as tons of grains, cereals and other edibles have so far been delivered.

“The flood victims also received blankets and mattresses”.

Mr Shehu said that the materials were delivered to and signed for by stakeholders while the Emir of Daura, Umar Faruk Umar welcomed the prompt emergency response from NEMA officials.

According to him, NEMA has promised that in line with establishment practices all over the country, as soon as the assessment of the damage to the flood-ravaged communities is reported upon, more food items and building materials would be dispatched.