Govt to tackle erosion in S’EastNigeria
President Goodluck Jonathan has Okayed the speedy intervention of the Federal Government to the ecological problems confronting the South Eastern part of the country, according to the Minister of Environment, Mr. John Odey.
Odey added that though government was yet to specify the cost implication and list of projects to be carried out, the President however directed the Ministry of Environment to work out the first phase of intervention, which begins between now and December.
Odey disclosed this yesterday in Abuja when three South-East governors paid him a visit in his office to ascertain steps the Federal Government was taking on its intervention arrangement. The governors include Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Martin Elechi (Ebonyi) and Peter Obi (Anambra).
Odey described the visit as part of developmental project for the South Eastern dwellers considering the enormity of erosion and flood, adding that in the next two weeks arrangement would be concluded on specific projects for the area.
He said: “We have gone far in our discussion and am holding brief for Mr. President on this issue. We have done some business study and surveys of the ecological problems in the region and have come up with some intervention measures.
“We also have in our regular budget line some project we will embark on across the country this year and South East is taken a share of this as a matter of consideration…
We have discussed with the South East governors, we don’t want to go into details right now until we are able to come up with specific projects, which I believe in the next two weeks, we should conclude arrangement.”
Governor Obi, who commended the effort of the Federal Government, noted that the efforts to tackle the erosion cases in the area were now different from what was done in the past.
He said that the Federal Government had shown renewed commitment that was very heart-warming for the states, adding that the visit was to encourage more involvement.
According to him, unlike what happened in the past, the money committed was not enough but the activity now had taken a new turn since 2007 when the last administration ordered a survey to be carried out on the list of ecological challenges in the region without adequate funds to tackle the problem.
Meanwhile, the South East governors have called on the Federal Government to provide quick intervention in the water supply problem in the Eastern part of the country.
They affirmed that the inadequate water supply has contributed to the menace in their communities, which often hamper their business activities.
They therefore called on the Federal Government to put in place strategies to fast-track the provision of water for people in the state.
Obi made the plea yesterday in Abuja when he led a delegation of South East Governors to the office of Minister of Water Resources, Chief Obadiah Ando.
He said: “As people in the South East, we are without adequate water supply, Aba is without water, so is Enugu, Owerri, Abakaliki, Onitsha and several other communities in their state.”
Obi affirmed that for a long time, most Eastern states had lacked intervention in the area of water supply, and their plea has been falling to deaf ear, hoping that the government would comply with their request.
He submitted that the basis of their courtesy call to the Minister of Water Resources was to seek ways in which the Federal Government could assist their states in providing them with safe water which in the long run would boost their business activities in the state.
Ando in his response noted that he was aware that the Eastern states constitute the basic provider of commerce in the country, adding that President Jonathan had given them the mandate to ensure that water was adequately provided in the area.
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