The Nigerian government has ruled out immediate threat of flooding in the West African country but urged governments at all levels to put adequate plans in place to prevent possible flood emergencies.
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev said the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) had observed an increase in the volume of flow along the River Benue system, with the current level standing at 8.97 meters.
He stressed that the figure is significant as compared to a flow level of 8.80 meters the previous year.
“In Lokoja, the heightened flow volume along the River Benue system, the flow situation at the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers in Lokoja, Kogi State, remains within normal parameters
“As at today, there is no threat to lives and properties, especially those states that are contiguous to Rivers Niger and Benue.”
Prof. Joseph Utsev urged all levels of government to be prepared and to take adequate measures to reduce the potential impact of floods during the rainy season.
“States and Local Governments should intensify efforts in clearing blocked drainages and also construct new ones where they do not exist.
“Removal of illegal structures constructed within the floodplains, the general public, especially road users, should desist from walking or driving through any pool of water or flood”.
In 2022, Flooding killed over 500 people in Nigeria, submerged over 90,000 homes, and disrupted food and fuel supply, according to officials.
The floods also affected 27 of Nigeria’s 36 states, impacting approximately 1.4 million people, according to an online posting by the ministries of humanitarian affairs and disaster management.
The Flooding was exacerbated following water releases from the Lagdo dam in neighboring Cameroon.