The Benue Government, said it requires over N300 billion to dredge River Benue to mitigate the perennial flooding challenge in the state.
The State Commissioner for Water Resources and Environment, Terlumum Utsev, said in Makurdi that preliminary study alone would cost N8 billion.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had listed six local government areas of the state among areas likely to be affected by flood in the country this year.
Utsev said that dredging the river would provide permanent solution to the recurring flood in the state.
“Benue Government is looking for ways in which River Benue can be dredged; this is because by dredging the river, majority of the water can be accommodated and thus, prevent future overflow. The ongoing research so far, shows that the preliminary study would cost about N8 billion while the main project would gulp about N300 billion. And this is where we need Federal Government financial intervention to execute the project, since the funds are much.”
He believed that the dredging of the river would also encourage economic activities which would be serviced by the Cargo Airport being constructed by the state government.
On NIMET’s prediction, the commissioner said the state had constituted a committee in collaboration with NEMA to determine exact areas likely to be affected and how government would intervene.
According to him, the state government has established shelters for likely victims of the flood and is enlightening the public on flood control measures.
No fewer than 4, 000 houses were submerged in 2012 due to flooding which also destroyed property worth billions of naira.
RecordS show that Nigeria experienced its first flood disaster in the 1950s and the problem has persisted till date.
Experts have attributed the problem to human factors such as poor planning of urban areas and indiscriminate dumping of wastes in water channels.