Senate probes N6.5b shoreline protection contract, raises alarm
The Senator representing Ondo South Senatorial District, Jimoh Ibrahim, has raised the alarm that Ayetoro is gradually slipping into the belly of the Atlantic Ocean.
He said the issue has caused several damages in the community.
Ibrahim, while presenting the motion, said: “Ayetoro Community used to be one of the most prosperous riverine settlements in Nigeria due to its thriving trade in fish.
“The devastating sea incursions and ocean surges have been the albatross of the community for over two decades, with hundreds of homes and property destroyed yearly, resulting in displacement of indigenes of the community and disruption of oil exploration in the area.
“The surges have become a yearly occurrence that successive governments have failed to attend to. They are serving a daily reminder to the indigenes of Ayetoro that they are gradually slipping into the belly of the Atlantic Ocean.”
In supporting the motion, Abdul Ahmed Ningi (PDP, Bauchi Central) said it is a matter of urgency for the Senate to come to the aid of Ayetoro and find possible solutions.
Other senators that supported the motion include Gbenga Daniel (APC, Ogun East) and Deputy Senate President, Barau Jibrin.
The Senate, in its resolution, mandated its committees on NDDC, Environment and Ecology (when constituted) to interface with relevant ministries to work out modalities for instant intervention in the disaster.
It also mandated its committee on NDDC (when constituted) to conduct an investigation into the N6.5 billion-shoreline protection contract awarded by the NDDC in 2006, with a view to finding an alternative solution, where necessary, to stem the dangerous slide and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
Besides, it urged the various committees to investigate the contract award of 2009 and report back to the Senate.
It also asked the national and international agencies to live up to their responsibilities while looking into the issue.
In another motion tagged “Urgent Need for Erosion Control in Edo Central Senatorial District to Save Lives and Property” and sponsored by Monday Okpebholo, the Senate said the flooding menace had put many communities under threat of erosion devastation, resulting in massive gully erosions, flooding and road devastations.
He said: “The Okene-Auchi-Benin Expressway, a major road infrastructure in Nigeria, began to fail at the Ekpoma axis, owing to several gully erosions. The Ewu-Uromi-Agbor Road corridor has also experienced similar fate in Uromi axis. Nigerians in Irrua, Ekpoma, Uromi, Ewu and other communities have fled their homes or got their access roads damaged owing to the erosion problems.”
He sought the collaboration of federal agencies, namely the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ecological Fund Office and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing towards tackling the menace of erosion devastation in Edo Central Senatorial District.
Also, Victor Umeh, who represents Anambra Central Senatorial District, in his motion, tagged “Urgent Need to Control the Erosion Ravaging Onitsha-Oba Section of the Onitsha-Owerri Federal Highway in Anambra State,” warned of severe consequences if the issues are not addressed.
He said: “One lane of the affected road has been cut off by the gully erosion at the Oba junction with the second lane under serious threat of imminent collapse while buildings and factories within the vicinity are on the verge of collapsing into the gully.”