Nigerians in several parts of the country are lamenting the devastation of farmlands which affected agricultural production last year.
The flooding, which inundated several farmlands across the country, destroyed property worth millions of naira, even as thousands of people, including farmers, were displaced and rendered homeless.
A survey, in some states of the country, revealed that the heavy rainfall and resultant flooding also destroyed agricultural produce running into billions of naira.
Coordinator, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), in Edo North, Alhaji Abdulahi Mohammed, attributed the current scarcity of vegetables in Auchi and its environs to the flood that inundated the Omeme River bank.
He said that the flood destroyed over 50 hectares of farmlands near the river bank and also affected cocoa yield.
He appealed to the Federal Government to rehabilitate parts of Jattu town and some areas of Auchi ravaged by the flood.
Mohammed said the economic impact of the destruction caused by the flood was immense, adding that it prevented vegetables farmers in the area from planting.
He said the flood carried with it a type of soil that was not suitable to grow any type of crop.
“It was a serious flood. It washed off cocoa and plantain farms. Farmers near the riverbank were all affected and this led to scarcity of vegetables within Auchi and environs”.
“Cocoa trees in the area were covered with a type of mud that prevented them from yielding this season,” he said.
Mohammed explained that the effects of the flooding aborted all agricultural activities along the river belt and he urged the Federal Government to fulfill its promise to send relief materials to farmers who lost their crops as a result of the flood.
He said the flood also caused the collapse of the bridge linking Auchi and Akoko-Edo local government area of Edo.
In Kano and Jigawa states, respondents lamented that torrential rains and the ensuing flood, led to the displacement of thousands of people.
The downpour also forced the management of two dams- Challawa and Tiga, to open their spillways to release water from their overflowing reservoirs to prevent them from collapsing.
Jigawa State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed, noted that several families were displaced by flood waters which also washed away several houses and farm lands.
A large-scale female farmer in Kwari in Wudil local government area of Kano State, Malama Aishatu Haru, said several farmlands were destroyed by flood.
To make up for the loss of their farm produce, Haru said she and other female farmers in the area would embark on large-scale irrigation farming this farming season.
Another female farmer in the area, Harira Musa, said irrigation farming would help them reduce the immense loss they suffered from the flood in 2010.
A farmer in Kwara State, Alhaji Rauf Ogene, noted that the 2010 farming season would be remembered by the flood disaster, which wreaked havoc on 15 agrarian communities in Edu local government area.
He said that no fewer than 500 hectares of farm plantations were submerged by the flood, while properties worth millions of naira were destroyed.
He named some of the communities affected by the flooding to include Kpatairingi, Tada, Emaji, Kpilegi, Kusogi, Kpatako, Kochegi and Bafinta.
Others, he said, incuded Chiji, Tunga Dady, Tunga Alhaji Haruna, Tunga Shayau, Tunga Mallam Sanni and Ogudu.
The Emir of Shonga, Dr Haliru Yahaya, said the flood waters destroyed property worth hundreds of millions of naira.
“The flood, which however, claimed no life, left the victims with no food to eat, no sleeping materials and there was lack of other basic necessities of life,’’ he said.
Ogene said the release of water from Kainji Dam exacerbated the impact of the flood on people in Kwara and Niger states.
The Emir of Shonga described the flood as “very devastating’’ as it swept away farm plantations and property worth millions of Naira.
A spokesman of farmers in the area, Malam Muhammed Subair, described the flooding as a “great loss” while Mr Ayotunde Oyeniyi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, described it as “unfortunate’’ and “tragic’’.
Oyeniyi said the government assisted the victims by providing them with emergency relief materials.
“When the incident happened, government realised that the people needed urgent assistance as their crops were submerged in large quantities,” he said.
He said the government had put in place necessary measures to check the recurrence of the incident.
To mitigate the impact of the flooding that devastated the state last year, the Sokoto State Executive Council approved the construction of 1,000 houses for flood victims in three local governments of the state at a cost of over N3.69 billion.
The Commissioner for Information, Malam Dahiru Maishanu, who disclosed this, listed the benefiting local government areas as Goronyo, Silame and Gada.
“This is just the first phase of the project; other communities in the other six local government areas affected by the flooding are being sensitized on the need for them to relocate to safe havens,” he said.
Maishanu said construction of the houses was expected to be completed in one year, adding that payment of 30 per cent advance fee for the contractors had been approved on the provision of a bank guarantee.
Meanwhile, Governor Aliyu Wamakko, has had commended the Federal Government for donating N1 billion to the Sokoto State Government to reduce the impact of the flood which devastated more than half of the state in September 2010.
He made the commendation when he inaugurated the rehabilitated Usmanu Danfodiyo University Bridge, which was washed away by the flood waters.
“I commend the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, for personally visiting the state to inspect the damage caused by the flood as well as commiserate with the people and government of the state on the disaster, ’’ he said.
The governor also hailed the president for deploying military engineers who installed a temporary foldable floating bridge, which was still being used at the site of the collapsed bridge.
He said all the roads and bridges destroyed by the flood had been repaired by his government.
In Kebbi State, about 171 tonnes of seedlings valued at about N33.4 million, representing 80 per cent harvest loss, were destroyed by flooding that occurred in the state last year.
The Chairman of the state’s Flood Relief Committee, Alhaji Bello Tugga, said more than 10 communities were displaced by the flood that affected 11 local government areas.
Tugga, who is also the state Commissioner for Finance, said the Federal Government donated N750 million to the victims after the visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to the affected areas.
He said the government had spent about N30 million for the purchase of relief materials in addition to N25 million spent to procure drugs and water treatment chemicals in the affected areas.
He said that out of the millions of naira pledged made by individuals, corporate organisations and some state governments, only N59 million had been redeemed.
Tugga said the flooding occurred as a result of the collapse of Gwatanyo Dam shortly after farmers had planted their crops.
The sole administrator of Argungu Local Government Area, Alhaji Ahmed Salihu, said property and houses valued at N36 million were destroyed by the flood.
His counterpart in Arewa Local Government Area, Alhaji Nurudeen Kangiwa, said property worth N18 million were destroyed by rainfall.
Governor Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi State, who inspected farmlands affected by the flood, said they would be used to expand dry season farming, while people residing on the farmlands would be relocated.
Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority
The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja.
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years.
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.
By: Corlins Walter
Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage – NEITI
Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.
Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains.
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives.
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area.
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.
By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies
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