The Kebbi State Caucus of the House of Representatives has declared their State government as incapable of handling the devastating floods in the state, without the assistance of the federal government.
Devastating floods have swept off huge swathes of rice farms and wrecked buildings, amounting to billions of losses in farms and structures.
The Chairman of the Caucus, Rep. Muhammad Umar Jega, at a press briefing, said an emergency response to the disaster from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is required.
Confronted by VANGUARD with the fact that environmental issues are on the residual list of the 1999 Constitution and should therefore be solely handled by State governments, the Caucus responded that “Yes you are right, but the magnitude of the disaster, is too much for the state to handle”.
The Caucus lamented that the floods were a thorough set back for the economy of the state.
“The flood is a serious setback toward addressing food security in the country, the government, therefore, needs to address the shortfall of the food supply chain to reduce the hardship and cost of food items in the market and also address the severe environmental degradation, caused by the flood. This may include adequate and early preparation for dry-season farming and reconstruction of major infrastructure affected in the state”.
The Caucus lamented that “The estimated cost of the disaster is over ten billion Naira (N10,000,0000.00) across the state, early preparation for dry season farming, should commence in earnest with the provision of seedlings, fertilizer and other inputs to be made available to the farmers in good time”.
The Caucus, also called “on the Federal Government to commission a study with the aim of providing a lasting solution to the perennial flood disaster in the state”.
The Caucus also sympathized with people of the state.
“We the Kebbi State Caucus of the House of Representatives, commiserate with the government and people of Kebbi State, over the flood disaster that has ravaged the entire state, being the focal point of the Federal Government policy for rice production in the country”.
The Caucus stressed that “The disaster couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers, who hitherto, looked forward to a bumper harvest this year, to reduce the rising cost of food items, it is a major set back to the Federal Government effort to boost local rice production, as part of measures to end rice importation”.