The National Administrative Council of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) says it is shaken by the devastating floods that have once again claimed hundreds of lives, farms and roads and destroyed properties worth billions of naira without a commensurate national mobilization.
The TUC in a statement on Thursday commiserated with the working people and their families over these losses caused by the floods which have swept through 33 of the 36 states of the country and have also left schools, hospitals, police stations, offices and infrastructure submerged.
According to the Congress, over 40,000 homes have been destroyed and the nation’s food security threatened.
The TUC insists that such growing level of devastation ought to have elicited emergency responses in the entire country, which would have saved its citizens the pains, anguish and embarrassment they are currently subjected to.
In its opinion, the poor, working people and their families become as always vulnerable to the inactions of government.
“It is true that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, NIMET and Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency had warned against high amount of rainfall in September, 2022 which may trigger floods in some states.
“It is also a fact that the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA gave similar warnings, but government at all levels did not put preventive or at best control measures in place but rather devoted all energies to political activities at the expense of governance.
“The Federal Government blaming state governments for allegedly ignoring the letters of the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu informing them of the impending floods, is at this time unhelpful.
“What the country needs is a synergy by the three tiers of government to quickly come to the rescue of the displaced by immediately providing temporary shelter, warm clothing, food and medical supplies not just for the immediate, but also to combat the post-flood water borne diseases that have become inescapable.
“A country suffers in many ways than one, when it refuses to elect serious leaders driven by development, we must dredge the river Niger to its full depth potentials, so as to form a deep basin to warehouse waterbody coming from Cameroon and Niger Republic.
“Dredging gives you so much tonnage of white sharp sand for construction and export, if that is done it means we won’t stupidly, insipidly and haplessly be begging our poor neighbours not to release their dams.When you dredge, there will automatically be a reasonable depth for River transportation and multiple wharfs in Lokoja, Onitsha,” the TUC’s statement partly read.
The Congress appealed to corporate Nigeria to roll out flood funds of solidarity to assist the victims, while individuals can also take initiatives to come to the aid of those rendered homeless and helpless by the floods.
Furthermore, TUC urged the Federal Government to also take steps to ensure that the release of water from the Kiri, Kainji, Jebba, and Shiroro dams does not worsen the flood situation.
“Apart from taking climate change seriously and working on meeting minimum international requirements to tackle it, government also needs to engage our neighbors on how flooding can be controlled.
“For instance, the media reports that the September 13, 2022 release of excess water from Lagdo Dam in Cameroon was partly responsible for the serious level of flooding the country is experiencing.
“While taking these necessary measures, the TUC appeals for a systematic flood prevention and control system so that such flooding tragedy does not become a seasonal re-occurring feature.”
The TUC reiterated that the Congress stands with the working people and indeed the entire Nigerians during these trying times, adding that this is the time to truly show that an injury to one is an injury to all.