As communities across Nigeria continue to reel under floods, President Muhammadu Buhari has charged state governors to live up to their responsibilities by addressing the menace.

He said the situation is under continuous monitoring and his administration will keep sending teams to assess the natural occurrences with a view to rendering the needed help.

The president in a statement by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu extended  heartfelt condolences on behalf of the nation to communities in towns and villages, many of whom have lost relatives, suffered extensive damage to property, and endured the destruction of crops and farm lands.

While expressing his concerns over the hardships being faced by people due to this natural calamity, the president noted that the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) had written to each of the 36 states of the federation through the states’ respective governors advising on the appropriate action to take in view of the gloomy forecasts of the rains this year.

According to him, the structure of the response mechanism on this issue is clear: the government at the centre should step in to directly address national-level emergencies and that local government councils and the states are the first responders in all situations.

He contended that calls for the federal government to respond to all outbreaks of natural disaster do not just display an understanding of Nigerian law.

“While not a national-level emergency, the ongoing flooding is an emergency nevertheless.

“Nigerian lives and property are at stake. We call on governors of those states that have swung into action and engaged the necessary gear to continue with their efforts, and those that have not, to immediately face their duties of managing the flooding within their jurisdictions – that is, the job that the president, governors and council chairmen have been elected to do.”

“Each of the three tiers, the local government, the state government and the federal government has a sizeable budget at its disposal, allocated monthly precisely for dealing with these state-level natural emergencies, as well as federal agencies dedicated to doing the same.

“It is not clear why some of the state governments in question are not already drawing upon those funds to tackle the current emergency, and the general population is misguidedly calling on the federal government to intervene in all situations.

“If those moneys are, for whatever reason, no longer available, the affected states and local councils must immediately contact the relevant authorities to explain what has happened with those funds,” he said.

He said under the prevailing revenue allocation formula, 2.32 percent of derivation funds is set aside for ecology and disaster management and that of this amount, the 36 states and the FCT get 0.72 percent, the 774 local governments get 0.6 percent, adding to 1.32 percent, leaving a balance of one percent to the government of the federation.

“By the law of land, NEMA takes 20 percent of the amount allocated to the Federal Government. The North East Development Commission, NEDC collects 10 percent , the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA 10 percent, and the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, GGW 0.5 percent, leaving 0.55 of the one percent to the government at the centre for ecological protection and disaster management,” he said.

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