Flood: Kogi orders residents to quit River Niger banks
The Kogi State Government on Thursday directed people living along the banks of the River Niger to relocate as the water level in the river increased to 6.5 millimetre.
The state Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba, gave the directive in Lokoja while receiving the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, at the Government House.
The deputy governor said the continuous rise in the level of the water was an indication of another round of flooding.
Achuba appealed to people living on the bank of the river in Lokoja and other parts of the state to relocate to higher grounds to avoid loss of lives and property as witnessed in 2012.
Achuba lauded the Federal Government over the ongoing efforts to reduce the level of unemployment in the country through agricultural schemes.
He said: “No nation can achieve sufficiency in food production without modern irrigation system.
“Kogi State is blessed with water which can make farmers to engage in all-season agricultural practices.”
Earlier, the Minister said he was in the state to prepare grounds for the formal launch of the Graduate Agriculture Scheme that will involve all the states.
Adamu said the Federal Government was embarking on the initiative to fulfill its promise of job creation and economy diversification to Nigerians.
The minister said modalities and criteria for selection of graduates that will participate in the scheme had been designed.
He said the graduates would be trained in batches on continuous basis for the future sustenance of the programme.
According to him, the historical importance of the state and the confluence of rivers Niger and Benue in Lokoja had made the state strategic to the economic diversification drive of the present administration.
Adamu said: “The Graduate Agriculture Scheme, which was initiated by this administration, is to support the new initiative towards food security and self-sustenance in this country.
“One of the major drivers of this new push of Buhari’s administration is to support agriculture to diversify our economy from total dependence on oil through the various River Basin Authorities.
“Among them are quite a number of large dams that support irrigation and even small hydro schemes that have been underutilised for many years.”
Adamu stated that one of the quickest ways to support the policy thrust of government on agriculture was to revive the River Basins Development Authorities across the country.
To achieve this objective, he said, his ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Songhai farm based in Republic of Benin for cross fertilisation of ideas on development and operation of river basins.