By Shitile Mbayansa, Abuja.
Though the boss of the Nigeria Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has issued a stern early flood warning for communities along the bank of River Niger, the federal government believes there is no immediate cause for concern.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, briefed the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the situation, and told journalists later that the government was on top of the situation and would take measures to prevent any adverse effects.
His words: “Niger Republic has put the country on alert. The levels of the River in Niamey has increased considerably and the country is at alert at the moment.
“That is an indication that there will be more flood into the River Niger downstream towards Kanji, Jebba and of course by the time you come down to confluence at Lokoja, the situation will be compounding because you are already aware of the flood situation in Benue.
“The good thing is that we have an observatory in Niamey and another one in Lokoja to give us that real time, per second updates on the water level.
“So we are monitoring the situation and I briefed Council on our efforts to monitor the situation which we are doing.
“We are in consultation with NEMA, which is working closely with Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency which is an agency under the Ministry of Water Resources.
“If there is any indication that there is going to be a significant rise or is going to get to an emergency situation, we will be able to give an early warning to NEMA which is poised to to inform affected states along River Niger particularly Kogi, Anambra, Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers.
“For now there is no cause for alarm but like I said we are monitoring the situation and it could very well become more drastic with more rains.
“I believe the most important thing is that we cannot stop the flooding but we can provide early warning and ensure that we take safety measures to reduce loss of property and loss of life.”