Niger state government has appealed to communities affected by the construction of Zungeru hydro dam to exercise patience as government was doing everything possible to hasten the compensation process.
Alhaji Ahmed Ketso, Deputy Governor of Niger, made the appeal when he visited flood victims at the Internally Displaced Persons Camp in Zungeru in Wushishi Local Government Area of the state.
Ketso, who announced the donation of additional N1million for feeding of the victims, appealed to the people to see the flood as a natural disaster.
He said that the state government had directed the committee on compensation to inform the Federal government of the situation of members of the communities.
“The governor had also met with the President and informed him of the situation and the President has approved a relief assistance to the state through the National Emergency Management Agency.
“On the relocation of the communities, the state government has acquired land and paid some compensation. What is left now is structural compensation to members of the affected communities,” he said.
Also, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe, the state Commissioner of Works, said that assessment on compensation was carried out in 2013 based on the prevailing market indices of 2013.
He explained that the committee was working on reviewing the indices of market rate to suit the present market realities.
“If you calculate from 2013 to date, the interval is five years, prices of goods have increased that is why the committee is yet to pay compensation because they want the federal government to increase the money to suit the present reality.
“The money for structural compensation is intact, once the review is done, the committee will go ahead to pay the compensation.”
In his remarks, Alhaji Mamman Adamu, Chairman of the IDPs, urged the committee to pay the compensation with available fund to enable members of the communities relocate from flood prone areas.
“We want the committee to use the available fund to pay compensation, after that is done, they can go back to review the compensation and demand for increment,” he said.
Meanwhile, Alhaji Ibrahim Inga, Director General of Niger State Emergency Management Agency, said that the agency had provided the victims with relief materials such as food, beddings, mosquito nets and free medical services.
He added that the agency would continue to ensure that flood victims were properly taken care of and made comfortable.