Ogun Govt Steps Up Measures To Stem Flooding

File photo// Courtesy: @ChukwujikeChima

The Ogun State government says it has put in place necessary measures to stem impending flood disaster.

The development follows predictions by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and Nigerian Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA), which enlisted Ogun among the States to experience above normal rainfall in 2017.

The Director, Ogun State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr Sakirulah Adebakin in an interview with journalists, stated that the government had embarked on several sensitization programmes to educate the people on the need to refrain from environmental unfriendly dispositions such as dumping of refuse in drainage, building of houses on waterways among others.

He disclosed that his agency had collaborated with the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local council Development Areas in the state to identify flood prone areas with a view to sensitizing residents on flood prevention.

“The State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, had equally scaled up sensitization through jingles on radio and television stations.

“The government is also working with the Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives to reach out to the people through Community Development Committees (CDCs) and Community Development Associations (CDAs) across the State.

“We are very proactive in dealing with the issue of flooding. Natural disasters like flood usually do not give notice before they happen. But it can be prevented. We have shifted our attention from mere provision of relief to prevention.

”That is why we have embarked on massive public enlightenment as well as sensitization to inform the citizens on ways to prevent flood,” he added.

The Director, therefore, enjoined people living along river banks and flood prone areas to relocate to safer grounds, adding that it was better to avoid flooding than seek succor whenever it occurs.

He also advised residents across the state to keep government abreast of emergency situations, particularly flood related cases for prompt and adequate intervention, as government remains committed to the safety of lives and property of its citizens.

FG Releases N1.6bn For States Ravaged By Flood

The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has approved the immediate release of N1.6billion as intervention funds for 16 states ravaged by flood.

The states include Akwaibom, Kebbi, Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Plateau, Edo, Bayelsa, Kwara among others.

The money is expected to be taken from the ecological funds and released directly to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) immediately.

Read Also: Suleja Flood: Death Toll Rises

The development is coming days after states across the country witnessed massive flooding as a result of a downpour that went on for days.

The flood led to loss of several lives and property in states such as Niger and Lagos.

Read Also: Flooding: Lagos To Re-engineer Canals, Drainage Systems – Ambode

Osinbajo on Monday, visited the site of the collapsed Mokwa-Jebba Bridge in Niger State for an on-the-spot assessment, after which he stated that the government had commenced work to make the roads passable again in about two weeks time.

FG’ll Make Ilorin-Mokwa-Jebba Road Passable In Two Weeks – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has promised that the Federal Government will fix the Ilorin-Mokwa-Jebba Road within two weeks, to ease the flow of traffic.

The Acting President said the government had commenced work to make the road passable, pending the commencement of work on re-construction of the collapsed Bakino Bridge at Tatabu community near Mokwa in Niger State.

He specifically received briefs from relevant officials on site including the site engineers and supervisors from the Federal Ministry of Works, and then embarked on a tour of the collapsed bridge.

Professor Osinbajo told reporters at the site that government was fully committed to ending the difficulties on the Ilorin-Mokwa-Jebba road by addressing the remote causes of the deterioration on the road.

“The Minister of Works is working on a lasting solution but in the interim, we have assurances from the contractors and engineers working here that this road will be made passable in about a fortnight,” he said.

The Acting President noted further that construction work on building a new bridge would commence but that it would take some time for it to be completed due to the slow movement of material from Ilorin to the site.

“The contractors have informed me that movement of material to this location would be difficult and slow because of the deplorable nature of the road but with the commitment and support of the Federal Road Safety Corps and other agencies, the job would be done in good time,” he stated.

Professor Osinbajo added that the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport were both working on a more lasting solution that would reduce the over-dependence on the highway, especially by diverting the movement of heavy duty cargo from the roads to the railways.

Speaking to youths who had gathered at the site of the collapsed bridge, he conveyed the greetings of President Muhammadu Buhari to the community and urged for patience while government’s efforts are in top gear to fix both the collapsed bridge and the road.

The Acting President was accompanied on the visit by the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; the Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, the Estu Nupe, Dr. Yahaya Abubakar and other senior government officials.

In another development, the increased amount of rainfall and flooding across the country has led to the death of about 10 residents of Suleja, also in Niger State.

The Chairman of Suleja Local Government Area, Abdullahi Maje, confirmed the incident which occurred on Sunday to Channels Television.

Residents of the Lekki Axis of Lagos State also suffered a similar fate as they were trapped in their homes, following a flood that hit the area on the third day of a heavy downpour.

PHOTOS: 10 Missing As Flood Hits Suleja

Flood took over Suleja in Niger State following a heavy downpour that started in the early hours on Sunday.

About 10 residents are missing and feared dead as residents told Channels Television that some who had attempted to leave their submerged homes for safety were swept away by the flood.

READ ALSO: 10 Persons Feared Dead In Suleja Flood

The Chairman of Suleja Local Government Area, Abdullahi Maje, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

See photos below:

10 Persons Feared Dead In Suleja Flood

About 10 residents of Suleja, Niger State are missing and feared dead following a heavy downpour that started in the early hours on Sunday.

The Chairman of Suleja Local Government Area, Abdullahi Maje, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

He explained that the heavy rain started around 12 midnight and went on for hours, leaving more than 100 houses flooded in Suleja Local Government Area of the state.

“There are about 10 missing persons within Suleja. Three bodies have been found, we are still searching for the remaining persons dead or alive. We have made a call to the Federal Government through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA); they responded quickly and came to Suleja,” Mr Maje said.

The worst affected areas included Kaduna Road through Bakin-Iku, Checheniya, Yaro College area, Kantoma area, Kuspa, Anguwan Gwari and Anguwan Juma.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Flood Takes Over Victoria Island, Lekki

Narrating their plights to Channels TV crew who visited the scene, residents said some who had attempted to leave their submerged homes for safety were swept away by the flood.

They added that cars and vehicles parked along the roads were also moved from their original positions due to the heavy downpour.

A resident said: “I know of nine persons who were carried away by the flood and likely dead in (my) community alone”.

A Search and Rescue Officer of NEMA, Egrigba Micheal, told Channels Television that the agency was able to rescue a victim who has been rushed to the Suleja General Hospital.

“We got a call from our zonal coordinator, Mohammed Idris that there was a flood in Suleja, so we quickly moved to Suleja. We have seen a lot of devastation the rain has caused. Many of the houses were submerged while some were completely rooted out. Many properties worth millions of naira were also destroyed. There was one house that had eight people dead [although Channels Television did not see their corpse],” Mr Micheal said.

“In a family of eight, only one person was found dead but the other seven are still missing. We will go back to write our report and submit to our boss. Certainly tomorrow (Tuesday), they will come back and do another assessment before there can be any relief material,” the NEMA official added.

Read Also: Lagos Govt Reiterates Call For Caution As Rains Persist

Gov. Bello Orders Contractor To Fix Minna Water Works

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,
Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello

The Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello, has ordered the management of the state Water Board and the contractor handling the repairs of Chanchaga Water Works, Minna, to fix it.

He gave the order after inspecting four electric motors imported from Germany to boost water supply to Minna, the state capital, at the premises of the water facility in Chanchaga.

The governor directed the water board and the contractor to double their efforts, work all round the clock and ensure taps are running with water without further delay.

“We have no time to waste. We must fix this water plant and I am not ready to take any excuse from anybody for further delay in fixing this place.

“We must ensure regular and adequate water supply in the state. With the delivery of these electric motors and the locally refurbished high and low lift pumps, the contractor and his men must work 24/7 and fix this place.

“I am taking this water issue personal and I will be coming here to inspect progress made, even at an odd time.

“So anybody that has a problem with fixing this place is permitted to go. We must fix this water plant”, the governor reassured.

He then assured residents of other major cities in the state that the government was committed to ensuring that all the water works are functional and are meeting the need of the people.

“We are moving to Bida, Kontagora and Suleja very soon. So we are going to expedite work on this Minna Water Works to enable us move to other towns”, the governor assured.

Earlier, the contractor handling the project, Mr. Outare Kokobissi, assured the governor that with the arrival of the electric motors and the refurbished pumps and residents of Minna will soon be relieved of lack of portable water.

He promised to work round the clock to ensure delivery.

Ayade Lauds Nupe Kingdom For Maintaining Unique Culture

Ayade Lauds Nupe Kingdom For Maintaining Unique CultureThe Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has lauded the Etsu of Nupe, Brigadier General Yahaya Abubakar (rtd), and the entire Kingdom for maintaining their unique and distinct culture over the centuries.

The governor was speaking when he and his Edo state counterpart accompanied the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris Kpotum, to accept a chieftaincy title bestowed on the top cop by the monarch in his palace in Suleja, Niger State.

While commending the monarch for recognizing and rewarding the good and meritorous work that the IG is doing in the face of daunting national security challenges, the governor said:

“The Etsu of Nupe and the people of his kingdom stand out as a people who cherish and adore their culture and tradition and have managed to sustain the legacy to an appreciable period of time.

“I want to use this opportunity to invite the people of the kingdom and the other guests who came to solidarize with the IG to endeavor to attend the Calabar carnival and savor the legendary warmth and hospitality of Cross River State”. Ayade said.

“My administration has put everything in place to ensure that all visitors to the state during the carnival period not only enjoy their holidays in a peaceful ambiance but will also leave with memories that would linger for a lifetime,” he added.

He was accompanied to the event by the Chairman of the New Cities Development Board, Mr KJ Agba.

Niger State Govt. Promises To Support Impactful Projects

Niger stateThe Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has said that his administration will always support and partner with any lawmaker that executes projects that have direct positive impact on the lives of the people.

Mr Bello made the disclosure while he received in council, the National Assembly member representing, Suleja, Tafa and Gurara federal constituency, Mr Abubakar Lado Suleja, who had spent over 485 million Naira for various constituency projects since he assumed office.

He applauded the effort of the lawmaker, which he admitted have direct bearing on the lives of the ordinary people, especially the youths, while urging other legislatures in the state to emulate the kind gesture.

The Governor believes that if similar paths of development are being carried out by other lawmakers, “the problems associated with the present recession experienced would have been minimized tremendously”.

Mr Suleja, while presenting his scorecard to the Niger State Executive Council, said that he had spent a total of 485,797,000 million Naira, on various projects, and intervention programmes in his constituency.

The lawmaker reiterated his commitment to sustain the tempo throughout his tenure at the lower chamber of the National Assembly.

He mentioned that he would soon invite the state Governor and his team, when he would be distributing empowerment materials and equipment, worth over 100 million Naira, to the successful applicants.

Suleja stressed that he has systematically affected lives in the three local governments he represents, both in foreign and local scholarships, especially in the health sector, which according to him, they are presently lacking.

Furthermore, he said that his programme which includes infrastructural development of schools, roads water, rural electrification, subsidies to farmers, skills acquisition and vocational training of over 4,500 applicants was carried out regardless of faith or gender.

Niger State Govt. Declares Emergency On Health Sector

Niger State Govt. Declares Emergency On Health SectorWorried by the state of health facilities in the state, the Niger state government on Thursday declared a state of emergency on the health sector with a view to repositioning the sector for better service delivery.

To this end, it has earmarked the sum of two billion Naira to upgrade five out of the 16 general hospitals in the state which have been left unattended to for the past ten years in the first phase of the project.

Briefing journalists after the State Executive Council meeting in Minna, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mustapha Jibrin, said that the government inherited what he called “moribund” health facilities across the state from the immediate past administration in the state.

He disclosed that the immediate past government in the state expended well over N5billion to build three general hospital in Gulu, Nasko and Wuse areas of the state, but only the one in Wuse was functional.

Those that will benefit from the first phase of the hospital rehabilitation project include the Suleja, Kontagora, Mokwa, Kagara and Minna general hospitals, while all the remaining ones would be attended to in the second phase of the project.

The Commissioner further disclosed that following the inadequate health personnel in the state-owned hospitals, and to ensure quick service delivery, the state government has employed an additional 40 medical doctors, 70 nurses and 10 hospital workers since the inception of the present administration.

He described the current situation where one doctor attends to nine patients as unacceptable.

He said that the state government has approved the immediate payment of the 100% salary structure for all categories of all health workers being enjoyed by their counterpart in other states across the country.

Niger Govt. Opens Bidding To End Water Scarcity In Minna

water scarcityIn a bid to end water scarcity in some communities in Niger State, the Ministry of Water Resources and Dams Development has opened bidding to overhaul and rehabilitate some water works in the state.

The project, when completed, would enable the State government provide adequate and affordable water to the citizens especially in the five urban cities of Bida, Minna, Suleja, New Bussa and Kontagora respectively.

Opening the bidding at the conference hall of the ministry in Minna on Wednesday, the selected two companies that submitted their bids were China Zhonghao Nigeria limited with 16 and half months completion period at the sum of 19.5 billion Naira, with also 150 days bid security.

Also, the CDC Nigeria Limited submitted its bidding with 18 months completion period at 11.1 billion Naira both for the two treatment plants in Suleja and Chanchaga. The third selected company, Bi-Water, withdrew from the bidding.

The Commissioner of Water Resources and Dams Development, Abubakar Azozo, expressed happiness that it had shown transparency while, assuring the companies that the ministry would be just and fair to them.

He said diligent work would be needed within the shortest period of time.

Mr Azozo, who is optimistic that availability of water to the people of the state is paramount, assured residents that the present administration in the state would do its best to provide adequate and affordable water to the citizens especially in the five urban cities of Bida, Minna, Suleja, New Bussa and Kontagora respectively.

He assured them of adequate monitoring by the ministry’s engineers to ensure standard of the contract agreement when it finally commences as will ensure recouping of whatever the government invested within two years.

The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Abubakar Sadiq, in his remarks, said that project would involve a complete turn around maintenance to overhaul the two water works in the state to ensure optimal water supply to the citizenry.

He expressed satisfaction over the transparency exhibited during the bidding processes  and gave the assurance that the ministry would go ahead to study the technical aspects of the bidders to ensure the best company wins the contact.

Sadiq added that palliative measures would be put in place, to overcome some of the challenges. In line with this, he said that a 2,000KV generator had been provided to supply power for water pumps.

He noted that the project duration would be achieved if the government on its part would provide funding adequately.

The ministry consultant and Managing Director of Integrated Engineering Associate, Mr Hassan Umar, who also submitted an estimate of nine billion Naira within 18 months completion period stated that nine (9) contractors were invited to access the facilities and submitted their experiences.

He said that that after the bid, selection of the winner would be made within two weeks.

Niger Governor Orders Payment Of Casual Health Workers’ Salaries

Niger State Governor on healthcare workersThe Niger State Governor has ordered the immediate payment of two-year salaries owed 10 casual primary healthcare workers in Maje town of Suleja LGA.

Luck smiled on the affected workers on Wednesday when Governor Abubakar Sani Bello learnt of their plight during an unscheduled inspection to the health facilities.

Displeased with the development, he directed the Suleja Local Government Area (LGA) Chairman, Mr Ahmed Diko, to effect immediate payment of the outstanding salaries of the casual workers.

“It is very unfair for people to work without payment. As the Chief Security Officer (Suleja LGA Chairman) of this place, go and get money to pay this workers their due salaries within 24 hours,” the governor directed.

In addition to the remuneration, Governor Bello assured the affected workers of permanent employment if they discharge their duties diligently.

“If you do your work as expected, I assure all of you of permanent employment. This hospital is being used especially by pregnant women, always ensure proper hygiene especially in the bathrooms and toilets,” he said.

The governor also pledged his administration’s resolve to provide adequate modern medical facilities to the primary healthcare centres across Niger State for easy access to healthcare services, especially the teeming rural dwellers.

He directed the Permanent Secretary of the state’s Ministry of Health, Dr. Ibrahim Tiffin, to ensure adequate provision of health facilities in the area.

Governor Bello also addressed the crowd that trooped out on sighting his convoy, urging them to shun bitterness and be patient with the government.

He assured them that they would soon feel the impact of the change they voted for.

Commending the governor’s intervention, one of the affected workers, Malama Fatima Mohammed, said: “This singular act of the governor will surely wipe away our tears.

“We are 10 casual staff in this centre. Our salary is 6000 Naira per month (and) for over two years now, we have not been paid by the Local government that engages us,” she said.

Police To Deploy 7000 Officers For Niger Council Poll

policeThe Niger State Police Command on Tuesday said about 7,000 police officers would be deployed for the local government council polls to be conducted on Saturday, January 16, 2016.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Bala Elkana, while speaking to journalists in Minna, said policemen are currently undergoing training on how to conduct themselves before, during and after the elections.

He said that two policemen will be drafted to each polling units across the state while armed policemen would be policing the streets and targeted hot spots.

Elkana, who stated that operation orders have been drafted, warned against anyone with the intention to perpetrate violence to shelve the idea as the police is ready to arrest any individual inciting violence.

“Whoever does not call his supporters to orders should be ready to face the law. We are ready to curb any eventuality.

We did it during the last general elections and we are ready and prepared to do it again.”

While speaking on the clash between some political parties in Suleja local government area of Niger State, Elkana said the command will not tolerate or encourage impunity, noting that whoever is found culpable will be prosecuted.

“Although no arrest have been made but whoever is found culpable will be made to face the law no matter how highly placed the person is. The Member in the House of Representatives fingered to be involved in the crisis will be brought in to explain his role in the incident.”

The PPRO then said that the DPO and other policemen injured during the clash are responding to treatment and would soon be discharged from the hospital.