Reps urge FG to rescue Abia from erosion menace
BY OKEY NDIRIBE AND EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
The House of Representatives Wednesday passed a resolution urging the Federal Ministry of Environment to carry out ecological survey on some communities in Abia State affected by erosion.
The resolution was consequent upon a motion brought to the House by Oluchi Ibeji of Abia State, alerting the parliamentarians of the ravaging impact of gully erosion in some communities in the state.
The motion which was entitled, “devastating gully erosion threatening some communities in Umuahia North/Umuahia South and Ikwuano Federal Constituencies of Abia State was overwhelmingly supported by members.
In his contribution to the debate, Ibeji notified the House that the recent torrential rain at the Amuzu Oro, Amuzukwu, Nkata Afarata Ibeku in Umuahia North Local Government Area, Amibo and Mgbarakuma Ubakala in Umuahia South Local Government Area and Ibere in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State resulted in erosion which devastated the affected communities.
He also noted that some buildings in the affected communities were submerged.
The lawmaker raised alarm that the lives and property of Nigerians living in the affected areas were in great danger and noted that the rainy season for the year 2013 was a few months away and would worsen the already bad situation.
Apart from the obvious loss of lives and property that the negligence of the problem might cause, the politician expressed concern that the situation would also affect the economic and social security of the people in the devastated communities.
In tandem with the House rule on motions pertaining to infrastructure, Ibeji’s motion was passed without debate on the floor and committed to the House Committee on Environment for further legislative input.
Similarly, the House also urged the Minister of Interior to establish properly funded borstal institutions and remand centres in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.It further mandated the Minister to immediately carry out an audit of borstal institutions in the Country, with a view to weeding out illegal students and prosecuting their collaborators.
By the resolution of the House too, the Minister of Interior is to call on all Nigerian courts exercising criminal jurisdiction to determine the ages of young accused persons standing trial before them and, in making orders compelling the remand and imprisonment of accused persons or convicts aged between 16 and 21 years, specify the proper borstal or remand facility where the accused persons or convicts might be detained or imprisoned.
To ensure full implementation of the above resolutions, the House mandated its Committee on Interior to follow up on the Minister’s establishment of additional borstal institutions and remand centres and improve their funding as well as carry out the proposed audit of borstal and remand facilities.
This resolution was based on a motion sponsored by Hon. Daniel Asuquo, in which he observed that, under the Borstal Institutions and Remand Centres Act, accused persons and convicts are not to be detained or imprisoned in regular prisons but in borstal institutions and remand centres across the federation, where they are to be given training that could help in reforming.