The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday, November 23, 2023, recommended the establishment of a National Flood Management Council to ensure effective response to flood disasters in the country.
Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State made this known while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of 137th NEC meeting chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bello said that the proposed council would be domiciled in the Office of the Vice President for effective coordination of response and mitigation to flood disasters in the country.
”Upon advice from this council to the President depending on the magnitude of the flood, especially if it is category four, then the President will declare a State of Emergency.
“We recommended annual budget for both states and federal and local governments. Ecological Fund for states and the Federal Government.
“Natural Resources Development Fund, Special Intervention Fund, Disaster and Emergency, Climate Sensitive Budget Approach, Wind Bond, Blue Bond, PPP Approach and others including foreign interventions.”
He expressed hope that President Bola Tinubu would take proactive steps in ensuring the implementation of the recommendation to nib the yearly flooding across the country in the bud.
“In pursuit of President Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda. You recalled that on October 12, Tinubu represented by the vice-president Shettima, inaugurated a Presidential Committee on Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness and Response.
“Mr President is very concerned about ensuring that there is a lasting solution to that. So this particular committee was set up in order to come up with a roadmap with a view of tackling the flood problems head on.
“And we were given seven days to review the various reports and various committees set up by the Federal Government and we came up with this roadmap.”
Earlier, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, said NEC considered a presentation by the Chief Executive Officer of the African Reinsurance, a leading reinsurance company in Africa.
According to him, the company made two presentations on natural catastrophe insurance that can be utilised to protect natural disasters.
”And this is particularly so as observed by the vice-president that Morocco recently had a catastrophic and devastating earthquake.
”But yet Africa Reinsurance, leading other insurance provided over 270 million dollars support to those who were affected because they were insured.
”And vice-president felt this is an opportunity to also introduce national catastrophe insurance to Nigeria with the likelihood that the Federal Government will provide the support to ensure that we have a natural catastrophe insurance.”
Bagudu revealed that the company also made a presentation on crop insurance which could help farmers, pastorals and small scale holder farmers to obtain insurance to protect their crops against disaster.
”And again, vice-president advised states to utilise the opportunity provided by the Africa Reinsurance in helping to deliver insurance to small scale holder participants in the agricultural space in their respective states.
”Associated with this the council resolve and directed that the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance and the Minister of Budget and National Planning work to chat a roadmap that can see us adopting both insurance.”
By Salisu Sani-Idris