vice president Kashim Shettima has reaffirmed President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to the Renewed Hope Agenda and the administration’s focus on improving the socio-economic conditions of Nigerians living in the most vulnerable communities in the country.
He spoke on Tuesday when the Presidential Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness and Response presented him with a comprehensive report at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The committee’s report outlines a roadmap to improve the country’s flood response and preparedness.
The report is based on the findings of three previous and ongoing tasks, including the Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Floods of the National Economic Council (ongoing), the National Flood Emergency, Preparedness and Response Plan (2022) and the Report of the Presidential Committee on Development of a Comprehensive Action Plan to Prevent Flood Disasters in Nigeria (2022).
At the formal presentation of the committee’s report, the Vice President gave a definitive position to speculations on the reality or otherwise of the impact of climate change in Nigeria.
He said: “Climate change is real and the existential threat it poses stalks us every day, from the extreme events seen around the world to the devastating climate facing Africa. Africa is disproportionately affected and coming back to Nigeria we have witnessed droughts, floods etc. The saying about the climate crisis is that it is either too much (floods), too little (drought) or too polluted.
“We are all gathered to find a solution to the scenario of “too many” floods. “In the past, floods have affected communities with devastating impacts on livelihoods, people and the environment, with loss of life in some cases, such as the last flood witnessed in 2022.”
Describing the report as a testament to President Tinubu’s commitment to the Renewed Hope Agenda, Mr. Shettima categorically stated that the Tinubu administration is focused on improving the socio-economic conditions of Nigeria’s most vulnerable communities.
The vice president noted that in drafting the report, the committee was guided by science and forecasts from agencies such as the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and the Nigerian Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
The report, he said, identifies vulnerable communities prone to flooding and presents a roadmap with recommendations to address the problem.
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Mr Shettima praised the committee for its hard work and dedication and said: “I would like to start by thanking this committee for the hard work, commitment and dedication put into developing the report.
“In particular, I thank you all for the time spent carrying out this task within the seven days I directed when we first met in this very chamber, which meant that you all had to work over the weekend. The mandate was clear and was fulfilled.”
The vice president also ordered the committee to present the report to the National Economic Council (CNE) for further deliberations and possible promotion of the council.
At the beginning of his presentation, Emmanuel Adanu, Professor and Director General of the National Institute of Water Resources, Member of the Presidential Committee and Chairman of the Technical Working Group, spoke about the main causes of floods in Nigeria and strategies to mitigate their impact.
He said the ultimate goal of the committee’s work is to “protect the nation from the devastating impacts of flooding, safeguarding human lives and property while promoting sustainable conservation and improvement of water-related ecosystems.”
Adanu, however, noted that beyond the efforts of public and private sector stakeholders, individuals and communities must pay attention to issues related to drainage maintenance and healthy environmental practices.
*Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Communications*
*(Office of the Vice President)*
*November 14, 2023*