The Federal Government on Thursday warned the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa residents against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in their areas.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave the warning at the inauguration and handing over of three projects in the FCT and Nasarawa.
Buhari, who was represented by Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, Minister of State for Science and Technology said the residents should ensure they took ownership and maintained the projects to ensure its sustainability.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the three projects inaugurated were construction of drainage retaining walls and erosion control at Abuja University, main campus.
Also, erosion and flooding control at Kuchiyako 1, District, New Hope Avenue, Kuje Area Council, FCT and access road Gurku Internally Displaced Person, (IDP) camp, Karu, Local Government Area, Nasarawa.
He said that the residents should adequately maintain the projects by preventing filling drainage systems with debris and refuse that could lead to flooding or erosion.
The President said that the projects were awarded in 2019, adding that Ecological Fund Offices (EFO) intervened in the three projects effectively.
He said that the projects would address the devastating effects of erosion and flooding menace as well as providing access roads to people in the areas.
According to him, completion of these projects underscores the Federal Government’s concerted effort and sincerity of purpose in tackling problems of its citizens and making life more meaningful for the people of our great nation.
“I have no doubt in my mind that this projects will bring relief generally to the communities that have for a very long time, suffered the problems of these ecological challenges,” he said.
The president said completion of the projects would enhance the living standard of people in the communities and its environs.
He said that the projects would also reduce dangers to lives and property, associated with erosion and persisted flooding that had been experienced in recent times.
He said that the projects would provide an opportunity for economic growth of the communities.
Buhari thanked the EFO officials, project contractors, as well as the project consultants for their willfulness in ensuring timely and speedy completion of the projects.
Dr Habiba Lawal, Permanent Secretary of EFO, represented by Mr Felix Okeke, Director, Soil Erosion and Flooding Control, EFO, said that the projects were made possible through the efforts of the contractors and consultants.
“The contractors and consultants had worked assiduously to ensure minimum loss of time in the projects implementation schedule and complemented on the other hand, with very close monitoring and prompt honoring of all contractual obligations by EFO.
“The commissioning and handing over of the projects to the communities are expected to achieve the dual purpose of enabling the people to take over and exercise ownership of the projects, to ensure its maintenance and sustainability.
“The resources which the Federal Government had committed to these projects must not be allowed to waste,’’ Lawal said.
Speaking, Prof. Sadeeque Abba, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’ Allah thanked the Federal Government for making the projects reality.
Na’ Allah said the students were not finding it easy going to their classrooms to take lectures during rainy season, adding that the efforts had reduced the stress.
He appealed to the government to extend its intervention by constructing more areas that erosion had damaged in the school premises.
Also, Alhaji Abdullahi Sule, Governor of Nasarawa, advised residents to protect and maintain the environment by avoiding such activities that could damage the road as well as desisting from indiscriminate dumping of waste.
Sule promised the communities of adequate security, adding that the government was partnering with relevant security agencies in the state to ensure that the areas remained peaceful.
He thanked the Federal Government, EFO, consultants and the contractors of the projects for ensuring effective completion of the road.
Mr Markus Gamache, Director of IDPs camp appreciated the effort of the government, EFO and other good people in the community who in one way or the other supported in the construction and completion of the road.
By Vivian Emoni