…Says 101 dead from flood
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—THE Federal Government, yesterday, approved the concession of 20 Federal Government silos to private sector operators in a policy that will rake in N6 billion in 10 years.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Ogbeh said the Federal Government will retain six of the silos in its efforts to guarantee food security.
According to him, “the Federal Government currently has 33 of such silos, each with a capacity of 1,360,000 metric tones. We are concessioning 20 for now and we hope to retain six.”
He disclosed that the silos were being concessioned to some private sector operators with capacity to grow agric produce for exports.
He said: “Today we presented a memo to council seeking to concession the silos, which have been built in different parts of the country. A total of 33 silos exit with a capacity of 1,360,000 metric tons of grains and they are spread almost evenly through the geo-political zones of the country.”
The minister explained that the process for the concessioning, which started in 2014, was delayed because government wanted accountability, adding that it was continuing now so that the private sector can help use them and pay a fee to the Federal Government.
He said: “The process was carried out by the World Bank, the Concession Committee of Government, NGOs, private sector and the Ministry of Agriculture.
FG tackling flood
Also speaking on the current flooding, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said Federal Government had put in place measures to contain the expected flooding, following early warnings
He noted that the water level had risen to 11.19, but had not reached the 12.4 level that led to flooding in 2012.
“The water level has not reached the point as it was in 2012. And we are happy that the water level in Cameroon has not reached the level that will make them open their dam,” he said.
101 dead from flood—NEMA
Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, put the current casualties from flooding at 101.
He assured that Federal Government had made a provision of N3 billion for procurement of emergency relief materials for affected communities
He, however, put the responsibility of relocating the affected victims into temporary locations on the door steps of sate governments.