President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja to declare a “national disaster’’ in the event that anticipated flooding turns a reality in parts of Nigeria.
The President’s directive follows a warning by the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency that Rivers Benue and Niger States had almost reached levels that resulted in flooding in 2012, which led to lost of lives and destruction of property.
A letter to the Director General of NEMA titled: “Situation Report on the River Flood Along the Banks of Rivers Benue and Niger’’, which was signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, said:
“Delegation of authority to the Director General of NEMA to activate the Disaster Response Units of the military for possible search and rescue missions, and “The procurement and proportionate stocking of relief materials and health related items up to N3 billion to provide for the needs of possible victims.’’
The letter also instructed the head of the emergency agency to provide regular updates on the situation to the President.