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The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government and state governments to start taking proactive measures to prevent destructive flooding in the country.

The immediate past Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who resigned his membership of the 10th House on Wednesday, presented the motion to raise the alarm on the imminent flood disaster as Nigeria enters the rainy season.

Gbajabiamila who was in the chamber of the House as a member for the last time after 20 years on Wednesday to tender his registration before resuming as Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu called for urgent action against flooding with his motion.

Gbajabiamila said, “I had the privilege of meeting with the DG (of) NEMA just about a week ago and he painfully intimated me of the impending devastation from floods that may ravage this country if we do not take immediate action, to either mitigate or stop the consequences. It is upon that, that I bring this motion on the floor for the Federal Government of Nigeria and the state governments to commence active measures to mitigate the probable devastation by severe floods this season.”


The motion of urgent public importance was titled, ‘Need to Commence Active Measures to Mitigate the Probable Devastation of a Severe Flood Season and Prepare Palliative Intervention to Prevent the Worst Socio-Economic Consequences for Nigerians in the Affected Areas.’

Sequel to the unanimous adoption of the motion, the House resolved to “invite the Director–General of the National Emergency Management Agency and other agencies of the Federal Government of Nigeria to brief the House of Representatives on the measures in place to mitigate flood disasters and manage the socio-economic impact on the citizens resident in the flood-prone areas.”


The House also resolved to liaise with the relevant government agencies to ensure the relocation of Nigerians from the most flood-prone areas and ensure the government stockpiles sufficient quantities of temporary shelter materials, food and nutrition items and medicine to support people in flood-prone areas.

Furthermore, the lawmakers resolved to encourage communication between the Federal Government and the state governments to ensure effective collaboration and “prevent the worst outcomes in flood-prone areas.”


Moving the motion, Gbajabiamila noted that a large portion of the country, from North to South, East to West, is prone to an “annual destructive flooding incidents which recurring events have, in recent years, increased significantly in severity and the extent of the devastation of lives and property.”

The former lawmaker also noted that the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, in January this year, released the seasonal climate prediction with a forecast of early onset of rain across the country and heavy rains throughout the season.


According to him, the prediction of an early rainy season has already come to pass, there is every reason to expect the forecast of a heavy rainy season will also come to fruition.

He said, “The House is concerned that the 2023 Annual Flood Outlook prepared by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency shows that 178 Local Government Areas in 32 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory fall within the highly probable flood risk areas.

“The House is aware that Nigeria has yet to recover from the 2022 flood, which affected more than 4 million Nigerians, displaced over 2 million people, caused the death of 665 people, damaged about 355,986 houses and homesteads, and destroyed an estimated total of 944,989 hectares of farmland;

“The House is also aware that the experience of the 2022 flood caused the Federal Government of Nigeria to constitute a presidential committee to develop a comprehensive Plan of Action for Preventing Flood Disasters in Nigeria. The Action Plan proposes structural and non-structural measures, land and water management systems and better coordination amongst stakeholders across the federal and state Governments to ensure effective flood management in Nigeria.”


Gbajabiamila stated that with sufficient preparation and collaboration between the federal and state Governments, “we can mitigate the loss of life and the socio-economic hardships caused by these recurring flooding events.”

The Chief of Staff to the President stressed the need for the governments to commence active measures to mitigate the “probable devastation of a severe flood season and prepare palliative and intervention measures to prevent the worst Socio-economic consequences for Nigerians in the affected areas.”


A member of the House, Sada Soli, described the motion as timely, recalling the devastation caused to communities by floods last year “because of the complacency of our governments, from the local governments up to the Federal Government.”

According to Soli, there is not much enough information to the general public from the government, while there is also complacency on the side of “some of our people living along the water lines.”

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The lawmaker added, “I could remember that the Federal Government set up a committee to come up with ‘mitigative elements’ that will help to address this issue of floods. The committee submitted its report to the last government (led by Muhammadu Buhari). There is a need to request for that report. I think the report was submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.”

Soli prayed that the House “request for a copy of the report of the committee that was instituted by the previous government on mitigation of flood disasters that affected a greater part of the country last year,” which the lawmakers unanimously granted.


After Gbajabiamila laid his letter of resignation before the House, the new Speaker, Tajudeen Abbas, read it out to members.

Gbajabiamila subsequently took a bow to the Speaker and the members and walked out of the chamber amidst cheers and standing ovation from the lawmakers.


During his two-decade law-making career in the House, Gbajabiamila was Minority Leader, Majority Leader and Speaker.

He, who was reelected to represent Surulere 1 Federal Constituency in Lagos State before his new appointment, was sworn in as a member of the House at the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly on Tuesday.

Credit: Punch

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