The Senate is to investigate the N6.5 billion shoreline protection contract awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Ondo State in 2006.
The Senate resolution was on the heels of a motion adopted by the Senator representing Ondo State, Jimoh Ibrahim, on the devastation of an oil-producing community, Ayetoro in Ondo State.
The Senate, on Tuesday, also mandated the NDDC to interface with other relevant intervention agencies to mitigate the deleterious impact of the ocean surge on the community.
Speaking with Journalists after the Senate plenary, Senator Ibrahim said “The community contributes to the nation’s purse and they are gradually going to extinction. The community could be wiped off. The oil company doing dredging in Ayetoro should also rise to the occasion.”
The Senate also expressed concern over the dehumanizing impact of erosion in Anambra and Edo states.
The lawmakers asked the federal government to take urgent action to mitigate the effect of erosion in the affected states.
The contributions of the lawmakers was sequel to three motions by Senators Monday Okpebholo, Victor Umeh and Jimoh Ibrahim.
Senator representing Edo Central, Monday Okpebholo, in his motion “Urgent Need for Erosion Control in Edo Central Senatorial District to Save Lives and Properties”, said the flooding menace has put many communities under the constant 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 erosion. The Ewu-Uromi-Agbor Road corridor has also experienced a 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.
“In June, two persons died after being swept away from their homes in Ujoelen, Ekpoma. A school girl died two years ago in Efandion, Uromi, on her way to school due to the uncontrollable flooding. It is difficult to construct roads to Udo community because of the wild erosion gullies. This trend is all over the area
“The highway road projects in Edo central face the risk of being damaged even before they are completed, as a result of which the country may just be losing hundreds of millions of naira because of the natural disaster. The cost of interventions in erosion disaster is too weighty for local and state governments to bear.
“We urge for 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
“We also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to collaborate and carry out emergency works on Ekpoma (Uhiele, Ujoelen, Ukpenu, Borehole Road & Emuhi), Irrua (Uwesan and Ikekato), Ewu (Eguare and Uzogholo), Uromi (Efandion, Eguare & Uzegwa), Udo and Illushi.”
In similar vein, Senator representing Anambra Central, Victor Umeh, “Urgent Need to Control the Erosion Ravaging Onitsha-Oba Section of the Onitsha-Owerri Federal Highway in Anambra State,” equally raised alarm over the deleterious impact on the communities at the receiving end.
He said: “We note with dismay the devastating effects of ravaging gully erosion and landslide on Onitsha-Owerri Federal Road, between Electrical Parts Market and Metallurgical Training Institute, Obosi (Idemili North L.G.A) and Oba Junction near Rojenny Games Village in Idemili South L.G.A – along Onitsha-Owerri Federal Highway, all within Anambra Central Senatorial District of Anambra State.