The Niger State Governor, Muhammad Umar Bago has ordered the State Urban Development Board, NSUDB, and other relevant agencies to remove all structures built on waterways with immediate effect to curtail the effects of flooding in Minna, the state capital and its environs.
The Governor gave the directive through his Deputy Governor, Yakubu Garba, after inspecting some areas affected by heavy rain in Minna recently.
He said the era of issuing verbal directives without action was over, urging those who have structures on waterways to remove them with immediate effect as no warning notice will be given to anyone anymore on the matter.
The Deputy Governor, who is also the Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA disclosed that a technical team made up of members of NSEMA, the NSUDB, and the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency, NISEPA, alongside security agencies, will go round to take stock of the structures on waterways.
He insisted,” we must give way for the free flow of water. The state government, through its relevant agencies, will ensure that all debris on waterways is cleared to allow for the free flow of water. We are calling on residents to desist from the act of dumping refuse on waterways, as anyone caught in the act will be made to face the law.
Garba noted that the Bago administration has the primary responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of its citizens and is determined to carry out the responsibility.
While commiserating with those affected by the heavy downpour, Garba warned people against acquiring land on waterways and thanked God for not recording any casualties as a result of the flood.
Some of the areas visited by the Deputy governor include New Market, Tungan Maje, Chanchaga, Brighter Area, and Gbeganu within Minna and its environs.
Responding, the Acting General Manager of the Urban Development Board, Architect Mohammed Bako Isma’il, assured the Deputy governor that the agencies will swing into action immediately, adding that all the identified structures were illegal structures erected without a building permit from the board.
Ismai’l said,” the structures had since been marked by the board, some of them since 2021 but without action. Now, with the current executive order given to the board, we have no time to waste in executing the order.”