Lagos State Government issued a fresh flood alert on Monday, warning all residents of waterfront areas such as Lekki, Epe, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and others to adequately prepare for a massive flood.
According to a statement released by the State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, the latest alert becomes necessary due to the high tide of the Lagos Lagoon.
The commissioner further advised all residents in the affected communities to desist from dumping refuse on water passage which can worsen the already delicate situation. He also admonished all residents of Lagos State to monitor the rain and clean their tertiary drainage regularly.
Investors King could recall that Lagos State Government had earlier issued flood advisories to some residents of the states which include those living in Ketu, Agric, Ajegunle, Araromi, Mile 12 among other places.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the flood, Lagos State Government has commenced massive drainage clearance and construction across the state. The state has set up an Emergency Flood Abatement Gang to swiftly free up all the manholes and blackspots so that the drainages can take a full capacity of runoffs.
Investors King had earlier reported that more than 600 Nigerians across the country have lost their lives to the recent flood which has ravaged many parts of Nigeria.
While speaking on the development, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq noted that about 1.3 million people have been displaced, over 300,000 houses have been totally destroyed while several businesses worth billions of naira have been lost to the flood.
Nigeria is witnessing one of its worst flooding experiences in centuries while the devastating flood has drawn international attention, sympathy and material pledge.
For instance, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced $1 million in assistance to the victims of the devastating flood.
The US Agency also added that it will give relief materials and emergency shelter assistance among other interventions to flood victims in Nigeria.
Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
Nigeria Spends N231.27 Billion on Arms Procurement in Four Years Amidst Rising Security Challenges
The Federal Government of Nigeria has disbursed a total of N231.27 billion for arms and ammunition procurement over the past four years.
Despite this significant investment, security agencies argue that the allocated funds are insufficient to effectively tackle the myriad security challenges afflicting the nation.
Chief of Defence Staff, General Christopher Musa, defended the substantial budget for arms purchases during a session with the House of Representatives.
He emphasized that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign countries for military hardware, which are priced in dollars, diminishes the impact of the substantial budget when converted to the local currency.
General Musa explained, “We don’t produce what we need in Nigeria, and if you do not produce what you need, that means you are at the beck and call of the people that produce these items. All the items we procured were bought with hard currency, none in naira.”
He further illustrated the challenges faced, citing that a precision missile for drones costs $5,000, underscoring the magnitude of the expenses associated with arms procurement.
An analysis of the annual budgets for the Ministry of Defence and eight other armed forces from 2020 to 2022 reveals allocations of N11.72 billion, N10.78 billion, and N9.64 billion, respectively.
In 2023, N47.02 billion was disbursed for arms procurement, supplemented by a recently passed budget of N184.25 billion, resulting in a total of N231.27 billion.
Security expert Chidi Omeje raised concerns about the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), which is tasked with manufacturing arms locally. Omeje criticized DICON’s underperformance, urging the government to revamp the agency to reduce reliance on foreign nations for arms and ammunition.
Omeje stressed, “The new government must make sure that DICON lives up to its responsibilities,” highlighting the urgency of fostering self-sufficiency in arms production to address the country’s security challenges effectively.
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