President Muhammadu Buhari has met with the leadership of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), asking them to meet with the Minister of Water Resources, to fashion out solutions to the flooding problems in the country.
Playing host to the outgoing Chairman of NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, the incoming Interim Chairman, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and the Interim Deputy Chairman, Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Friday, he told them to escalate their conclusions to the Federal Government, to alleviate the plight of people currently being ravaged by flood round the country.
The Governors had told the President that lives have been lost, homes and farmlands washed away in States like Kogi, Yobe, Jigawa, and many others, and asked for Federal Government intervention in terms of special funding.
President Buhari said after the engagement with the relevant Minister, a report should be sent in, “and we will see what to do.”
Governor Fayemi, who exits office in about nine days, personally thanked the President for support to him as Ekiti State helmsman, and for the governors collectively.
“You always accorded us due regard. You accommodated us and listened to our pleas. You were always there for us when we had challenges, either individually, or collectively. We owe you a debt of gratitude,” the outgoing NGF Chairman said.
Gov Tambuwal said the flooding creates a frightening scenario for food security, “and we need to plan ahead for dry season farming,” while Gov Bagudu counselled that it was not the time to squeeze credit for the agricultural sector because of the peculiar challenges.
President Buhari has also noted that Nigeria has strategic mineral resources in its seabed, which will be exploited through the adequate deployment of technology.
He made the assertion Friday when he received Mr Michael Lodge, Secretary-General of the International Seabed Authority, who was attending a workshop on Africa Deep Sea Resources in Abuja.
Buhari said resources would be deployed, and studies are done, believing it would be worth the while.
The President also used the occasion to applaud the Nigerian Navy for its role in protecting the country’s maritime domain, urging it to “continue to guard us jealously.”
Mr Lodge thanked Nigeria for hosting the international workshop and lauded the country for the leadership it provides on the African continent.
He encouraged the country to explore her deep seabed resources “to support the blue economy,” and pledged solidarity with Nigeria during his administration as the Secretary-General.
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