The recent flooding that displaced hundreds of residents has brought to fore the urgent need for the completion of Alore/ Abata- Asunkere channelisation project in Ilorin, Kwara state. Oladipo Magaji reports.
The people of Alore/ Abata- Asunkere in Ilorin, Kwara state have sent a save our souls (SoS) message to the Federal government over the recurring flooding of the area during rainy seasons.
A devastating flood which followed a heavy downpour in Ilorin metropolis a fortnight ago, had rendered about 1000 residents Alore/ Abata- Asunkere homeless.
Some of the victims spent days at the expansive ABS constituency office of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, where provision was also made for their feeding.
Some of the victims of the flood who spoke with LEADERSHIP Sunday at the ABS Mandate office appealed to the federal government to ask the concerned authority to order the contractor handling the Alore/ Abata- Asunkere channelisation project back to site.
They thanked the government for awarding contract for the project which was facilitated by the Senate President between 2012 and 2015, but canvassed a speed completion of the project which has been abandoned midway.
Worried by the plight of the victims who are members of his constituency, the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki has also called on the federal ministry of Environment to speedy up construction works on Alore/Abatasunkere channelisation project in Ilorin, Kwara state.
Saraki lamented the abandonment, midway of the channelisation project, as a result of the flooding ravaging the people of the community.
The Senate President made the call in Ilorin while distributing cash gifts, totalling N5 million to residents of Abata Asunkere/Alore who were victims of the flood disaster.
Represented by the Director- General of his constituency office in Ilorin, Alh Musa Abdullahi, Saraki blamed the recent flooding experienced in the community on the non completion of the channelisation project.
During the incident about 50 houses were destroyed by the flood which rendered scores homeless.
Saraki recalled that he facilitated the project to the area during his first tenure in the National Assembly between 2011- 2015 when he was chairman, Senate committee on environment.
“With this current situation, I am appealing to the federal ministry of environment to ensure timely completion of the project so as to put an end to the ugly situation in the area that always occur during rainy season every year.
“ I will liaise with the federal ministry of environment in order to make the contractor handling the project go back to site in order to ensure the completion of the project for the benefit of the residents of the state.
“I want to say that over 32 houses with over 1000 victims will be benefiting from the first phase of my financial support to the victims and it is meant to cushion the effect of the incident”, he stated.
Saraki , had in the wake of the devastating flooding, made accommodation and feeding arrangements for the victims at his expansive ABS Mandate Constituency office along Western Reservoir road, Adewole, Ilorin.
Responding on behalf of the victims and beneficiaries of the cash gifts, Alh Sheu Oniguguru thanked Saraki for his kind gesture .
In a related development, the Kwara State House of Assembly government has urged the state government to, as a matter of urgency, constitute Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) in the state as provided for in Section 19 of the Nigerian Minerals and Mining Acts 2007 to coordinate mining activities in the state for the benefit of both the government and the people.
This formed part of the resolutions of the House following the consideration of the report of its ad-hoc committee on illegal mining activities in the state.
The speaker, Dr Ali Ahmad while reading the resolutions of the Parliament said the inauguration of the committee became expedient in view of its numerous benefits which according to him among other things will create job benefits, coordinate mining activities and enable the state government to enjoy 13 percent derivation fund from the Federation Account.
He said the life span of the ad-hoc committee would remain till the state governor, Alh Abdulfatah Ahmed inaugurates the MIREMCO in view of its significance in ensuring that the state reaps the full benefits of the mineral sector.
The legislature according to the Speaker also enjoined the state government to release funds appropriated in the 2018 budget for MIREMCO to enable it perform its functions.
It also called on the state government to liaise with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to visit the various mining sites for verification of the status of immigrants in the interest of national security.
The Parliament also urged the state government to closely monitor issuance of letters of consent by traditional rulers to ensure that they are issued to only the licensed miners by the leaders of the host community.
The legislature according to the speaker while equally enjoining the state government to, as a matter of urgency direct its Boundary Committee to liaise with the National Boundary Commission to effect the demarcation of boundary between Kaiama and Baruteen Local Government Areas to avert impending crisis, also resolved to urge the state government to put into use mining licenses acquired long time ago, into use to ensure that the state fully harness its mineral resources potentials for the benefit of all and sundry .
The chairman of the ad-hoc committee, Hon. Hassan Oyeleke, had while presenting the report, observed among other things, that the state was endowed with abundant mineral deposit ,with no accurate information on mineral sites , no MIREMCO as prescribed by section 19 of the Nigerian Mineral and Mining Acts 2007 as well as high prevalence of illegal miners in the state.
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