Thursday, October 11, 2012

Flood: 25% of Nigerians displaced, says Jonathan as Dangote committee targets N100bn

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday regretted that no fewer than 25 per cent Nigerians had been displaced by the flood ravaging most parts of the country.

He said since those saddled with the responsibility of compiling data on the victims were still working, there was possibility that the figure might be more than that.

He said his major concern was therefore how to resettle the displaced persons immediately after the flood receded.

Jonathan spoke at the Presidential Villa, Abuja while inaugurating the National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation which he set up to raise fund to augment government’s efforts at mitigating the pains of the flood.

The committee has businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; and a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association as its co-chairmen. Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr., who was absent at the inauguration is the Chief Fund Mobiliser.

The President regretted that some states of the federation, including
his home state Bayelsa, are currently about 80 per cent submerged.
He said his government was sad that Nigeria was facing what he called its unfair share of the global phenomenon.

He tasked members of the committee to ascertain the impact of the flood on the people, raise fund to complement or augment government’s efforts to mitigate the pains and advise government on other things incidental.
He said he expected the job to be completed in 12 months.

He said, “When people face this kind of flood devastation, it is no longer a national issue, it is an international issue because of the magnitude of refugees.

“This is a country of 167 million as at November last year’s projection. It’s almost a year since that figure was released though the Commission is yet to release fresh figures, we are definitely more than that now.

“And when you consider the fact that about 25 per cent or so of these communities are impacted by that, though the actual figure of the land and area affected is yet to get to us, have been affected by the flood.

“I spoke to my governor yesterday, he was so desperate because he said people do not even have food because all the channels of communications to Bayelsa State has been blocked by water.
“So you have enormous responsibility but we believe you are equal to the task.”

The President said members of the committee were carefully selected because the assignment needed people with empathy and human kindness.
Jonathan assured stakeholders that his government is up to the task as it will do everything possible to ameliorate the pains.

“Let me also use this opportunity to assure Nigerians again that the present administration will do everything possible to ameliorate the impact of this devasting flood on our people.

“We will do everything to cushion their pains, and we have put up a strong team made up of credible men and women who will also help government to achieve this,” he added.

Dangote, in his remarks, said he and other members of the committee saw their selection as a call to service.

He regretted that the floods came at a time the nations was battling with other challenges.

He, however, commended the President for responding swiftly to the situation by allocating funds and materials and materials for the relief and rehabilitation of the victims and also the setting up of presidential technical committee and the fund-raising one.
He said the committee would reach out to relevant organisations and individuals nationally and internationally to join them in mobilising resources and ideas to complement government’s efforts.

He also promised that the committee would be accountable and transparent in carrying out the assignment in such a way that both donors and beneficiaries are given account of the judicious application of funds and materials donated for the purpose.

“Be rest assured that we will not only rise to your expectations, but indeed, we will exceed them,” he said.

Dangote later told State House correspondents that there was no limit to how much the committee intends to raise.

He, however, added that a minimum of N100bn would be raised.
He said, “Our target is as much as we can think of and I am sure lot of Nigerians will donate something including yourselves.
“We are targeting N100 billion minimum, we do not want to look at it as a government issue.

“For some of us, when there were disasters in other countries we helped and so we expect people to help us.”
Members of the committee inaugurated by the President include Alhaji Karami Isiaku Rabiu, Alhaji Mohammed Indimi, Ngo Hannatu Cholum, Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija, Prof. Dora Akunyili and Mr. Tony Elumelu.

Others are the Secretary-General, Nigerian Red Cross, representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, UNDP, European Union, DFID and USAID.
Permanent secretaries of the Ministries of Environment, Water Resources, Works, Agriculture, Health, Finance, National Planning and the Ecological Funds Office are also members.

Other members are the Director-General, NEMA; acting Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties,  Chairman, House Committee on Environment , representatives of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, National Council of Women’s Societies, Mr. Tunde Lemo, (representing the Central Bank of Nigeria), Ms. Fatima Wali, Mr. Frank Nweke Jnr., and Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.

More Stories in Business

Source : punchng[dot]com

No comments:

Post a Comment


Please Like Us On facebook