- President Buhari has expressed sadness over the loss of lives and properties due to the heavy floods in Kebbi state
- Buhari made his feelings known in a statement by his senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Garba Shehu
- The Nigerian leader commiserated with the families who lost loved ones and victims of the disaster
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, September 2, reacted to the death of several Nigerians as a result of the heavy floods in Kebbi state.
The Nigerian leader in a statement by the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, regretted that the timing of the disaster came when efforts were ongoing to boost local rice production.
Buhari went on to express concern over the flood that destroyed farm produce, submerged thousands of farmlands and houses, and personal belongings in the affected communities.
According to the president, the floods couldn’t have come at a worse time for farmers and Nigerians who were already looking forward to a bumper harvest this year.
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President Buhari sympathized with the families of the bereaved and farmers affected by the devastating floods.
He assured that his administration would work closely with the Kebbi state government in order to bring relief to the victims.
He said: "I am particularly sad over this incident because it’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production as part of measures to stop food importation.”
"Kebbi state is the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation.”
"With the loss of six lives and still counting; thousands of hectares of land flooded and estimated economic losses of more than one billion Naira by rice farmers in Kebbi State, we face a major setback in our efforts to boost local food production.
“This bad news couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers and other Nigerians who looked forward to a bumper harvest this year in order to reduce the current astronomical rise in the costs of food items in the markets.”
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that about nine states across the nation were alerted of an imminent flood that may wreak havoc by the federal government.
This was disclosed in an alert from the Niger Basin Authority to which Nigeria is a member.
According to the report, the floods would begin any time from September 6, starting with Kebbi state. Other states that might be severely hit include Niger, Kwara, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Rivers, Bayelsa, Nasarawa, and Kogi.
The Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) also said that if excess waters from the dams in other countries upstream rivers Niger and Benue are released the flooding might be worse.
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