The Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), Vice President Kashim Shettima has described climate change as a real threat to Africa and Nigeria in particular because of the devastating effect such as drought and flooding on the communities.
Shettima made this remark yesterday when he received a detailed report on flood-prone states including recommendations to checkmate it.
The Presidential Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness, and Response submitted the report to him at the Presidential Villa Abuja, where it outlined a roadmap for improving the country’s flood response and preparedness.
Africa Today News, New York reports that the report is based on the findings of three previous and ongoing assignments, including the National Economic Council Ad hoc Committee Report on Flood (ongoing), the National Flood Emergency, Preparedness and Response Plan (2022), and the Report of the Presidential Committee on Development of Comprehensive Plan of Action for Preventing Flood Disasters in Nigeria (2022).
At the formal presentation of the committee’s report, the Vice President gave a definite position to speculations about the reality or otherwise of the impact of climate change in Nigeria.
He said, ‘Climate change is real and the existential threat it poses is glaring at us every day, from the extreme events being witnessed across the globe to the devastating climate facing Africa. Africa is disproportionately impacted and bringing it home to Nigeria, we have been witnessing drought, flood, etc. The saying on 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 for the “too much” scenario that is flooding. Flood events have, in the past, affected communities with devastating impacts on livelihoods, people and the environment with loss of lives witnessed 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, VP Shettima stated categorically 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 Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA).
The report, according to him, identifies vulnerable communities prone to flooding and presents a roadmap with recommendations to address the issue.
Commending the committee for its hard work and dedication, Sen. Shettima said, “I would like to start by thanking this committee for the hard work, commitment, and dedication put in to develop the report.
“I particularly thank everyone for the time put in to deliver this assignment within the 7 days that I directed when we first met at this very chamber, which meant you all had to work through the weekend. The mandate was clear and it was delivered.”
The VP also directed the committee to present the report to the National Economic Council (NEC) for further deliberations and possible ascension by the council.
Earlier in his presentation, Prof. Emmanuel Adanu, the Director General of the National Water Resources Institute, a member of the Presidential Committee, and Chairman of the Technical Working Group, spoke about the major causes of flooding in Nigeria and the strategies for mitigating its impact.
He said the ultimate objective of the work of the committee is “to protect the nation from the devastating impact of floods, safeguarding human lives and property while promoting the sustainable conservation and enhancement of water-related ecosystems.”
Prof. Adanu, however, noted that beyond the efforts of stakeholders in the public and private sectors, individuals and communities are required to pay attention to issues relating to drainage maintenance and healthy environmental practices.