Posted July 16, 2020
The representative of Anambra East/West Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Chief Benjamin Chinedu Obidigwe, has called on the Federal Government to take the case of dredging River Niger very seriously to curb flooding and not play politics with it.
Obidigwe, who is the Vice-Chairman, Environment Committee, spoke at the launch of Oke-Mmanwu movement, a project aimed at interacting with the grassroots. He decried flooding which submerge the communities along Rivers Niger and Benue, yearly, leading to loss of properties and farm produce.
He noted that a lot has been said about the importance by the government but no visible progress has been recorded. He bemoaned the agony of his constituents whose crops are eroded prematurely by flooding which occur from July to October every year.
He said: ‘The Rivers are shallow and cannot absorb the volume of water released yearly from the dams. Dredging them will deepen them, save the riverside communities from agonies, as well as make it possible for a ship to berth there.’
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had in a report disclosed that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is spending N100 million on the job, adding that after paying a contractor N34 billion for the dredging exercise, former administration failed to get the job done.
‘When the River Niger was first approved for dredging by the previous administration,’ Mr Amaechi said, “’t was approved for N47 billion and N34 billion was paid to the contractor. We are not dredging the River Niger with billions of naira; we are dredging the River Niger with just N100 million.’