Delta Govt. pays N200m to access World Bank’s ecological fund

Delta State Government has paid N200 million as it counterpart fund so as to access the World Bank’s funds for ecological problems.
Commissioner for Environment, Barrister John Nani dropped the hint today, Thursday, July 20, 2017 in his office when he hosted a media parley with members of the Indigenous Correspondents’ Chapel (ICC) led by Comrade Berth Ozah. ICC is an affiliate of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Delta state Council.
The Commissioner with whom was the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Nkem Ajufo and Directors in the Ministry also pointed out that what is to be accessed is not a grant but a loan that will be paid for, adding that the loan is to enable the state government tackle the enormous ecological and challenge ravaging communities in the state. “We have a lot of ecological problems in the state, with the Medoma Street, Owanta being the most critical.
“The Medoma street gully in Owanta is where houses, including storey buildings are under heavy threats of being washed away by flood. Once there is rain, the people don’t sleep in their homes as a precaution against possible ecological accident that endangers life. Delta state has paid N200million as counterpart fund for the World Bank loan for ecological problems. It is a loan that the state government will ay back,” Mr. Nani said, stressing that the State government is not closing its eyes to ecological problems. The government of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is on top of it; he is a listening governor. We in the Ministry are also on top of it, doing everything to effectively tackle the challenges.
Answering a Correspondent’s question, Nani disclosed that the Akpaka Road flooding in Jesse is caused by the massive dredging and the operations of heavy duty vehicles carrying sharp sand. “ Akpaka Road was not constructed to carry such heavy vehicles and their loads,” he said.
He blamed the issue of river dredging for sand on the insensitivity of the Federal Ministry of Environment that grants approval to dredgers without recourse to state governors for input as the ones in who the Constitution vested the ownership of lands in their hands. “This creates problems between the communities who resist the takeover of their lands through litigations to protect their rights,” Nani stated.
On the Obu river that has overflowed its bank into the highway and endangering the life of motorists along the Ishagu Road, Ogwashi-Uku , Aniocha South Local Government, Barrister ni blamed the situation on the dam that was abandoned by the Federal Government.
He said the state government through the Ministry has been creating canals across the state to ease flooding in the state. This is why Orogodo River in Agbor can take boat transportation rides now, while the Anwai River has also been dredged and opened up to receive water , without disturbing the communities around.
On the waste facility on Ibusa Road, Asaba, the commissioner lamented that the contracted has not been diligent in working to put the facility to work at full capacity. “The contractor promised to complete it, but he is not working at full capacity. The contract term says he should take in 1,000 tons of waste, but currently he is taking in only five trucks of wastes, whereas he is supposed to be doing about 50 trucks daily,” he said.
Earlier in his address, Comrade Bartholomew Ozah commended the commissioner for being free of complaints and accusation of any deals from any quarter since he came in to lead the Ministry.
Te Indigenous Correspondents’ Chapel Chairman however, drew the commissioner’s attention to the dangerous erosion gully that is almost tearing the Ndemili community in Ndokwa West Local Government apart. “Something urgent should be done to save the situation,” he said.

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