Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has appealed to the Federal Government to release funds to the state to fight ecological problems.
Oshiomhole made the appeal yesterday when the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster paid him a visit at the Government House over the ravaging flood in Oredo Federal Constituency.
“We thank you for taking time out to commiserate with us on this disaster. I appreciate the responsiveness of the House and your determination to identify with the people in times of disasters, whether man made or natural. Our challenge is to find ways to manage it”.
Oshiomhole said, “We have tried over the period to recognise that rather than deal with the consequences, particularly when we know from history that we need to make some investment in flood control. That was why we carried out a comprehensive study of Benin City and we came out with a very comprehensive Benin City Water Storm Master Plan and we are now tackling the problem of flood in Benin and it’s a real huge cost.”
He disclosed that the first phase which has started will cost about 30 billion naira covering a large part of the city.
“We have made a lot of progress on it and we have done over 60% of the project. The key challenge we have is the resources to fund it because there have been a sharp drop in revenue list as a result of the oil theft and this has put a lot of pressure on our capacity to continue to fund this project.
“We have other serious erosion sites at Queen Ede and this erosion was the result of Federal negligence because it resulted from poor design of the Benin-Asaba Federal High way. Over time, this has become a major disaster that has displaced hundreds of homes, destroyed public schools, farmlands among others and yet we have not received any Federal help.”
He said “I know that the House is a very progressive House and your voice is loud and clear. So I will appeal to you to lend your voice to our cry for the Federal Government to look at this matter with some favour.”
The Governor further disclosed that government would start on flood water erosion sites across the state with a view to finding a lasting solution to them.
“We have not received federal help but we have made application to the World Bank to see how we can get support. The Federal Government should look at the country with same eye and give support to all those who need it regardless of political sentiments” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Emergency and Disaster, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde said they were in state as a result of the motion moved by Hon. Rasaq Bello Osagie on the floor of the House informing the House of the ravaging flood in Oredo Federal Constituency.
Hon. Abegunde said “We are in the state to access the level of damage caused by the flood as well as take the statistics of the affected victims with the view to seeking adequate redress for them from the National Emergency Management Agency.
“What we are witnessing here today is the fulfillment of the resolve of the House of Representative as a voice of the voiceless to always ensure that democracy deliverables get to the masses. Edo State has suffered serious devastation as a result of flood for several years and your efforts at addressing this menace are highly commendable”.
Hon. Abegunde who said the state under the leadership of the Comrade Governor, Edo has witnessed tremendous transformation said the committee and NEMA will complement the efforts of the Benin Water Storm Project.