Lagos, Nigeria (PANA) - Nigeria is to spend a total of 17.6 billion naira to mitigate the effects of ''unprecedented'' flooding that has left thousands homeless, swept away farmlands and destroyed roads and bridges, President Goodluck Jonathan announced Tuesday morning (US$1=157 Naira).
In a special radio and television broadcast, the President said the affected states would get 13.3 billion naira and the federal government agencies involved in ameliorating the effects of the disaster 4.3 billion naira.
Giving a further breakdown, the President said the worst affected states (category A) will receive 500 million naira each; category B states 400 million naira each, category C states 300 million naira each and category D states 250 million naira each
Also, the Federal Ministry of Works will get 2.6 billion naira; National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) 1.1 billion naira; Ministry of Environment 350 million naira; National Commission for Refugees 150 million and the Technical Committee on Flood Impact Assessment 100 million naira.
In addition, the President announced the establishment of a National Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation to raise more funds, naming billionaire businessman Aliko Dangote as co-chairman and billionaire telecoms mogul Mike Adenuga as Funds Mobiliser.
To show that his administration has been alive to its responsibility in mitigating the effects of the flooding, the President said NEMA had spend 1.314 billion naira to provide immediate relief to the victims; the Ministry of Works 556 million naira to repair bridges and construct alternative roads and the Ministry of Environment 95 million naira on sundry relief measures.
He announced his ''deep commiseration'' with all those who have lost loved ones as well as their property for ''the global phenomenon of devastating floods which has come to Nigeria'', and assured that his government will do everything possible to mitigate the disaster.
Most of the country's 36 states have been affected by the disaster, worsened by persistent rainfall that has swollen rivers and caused them to overflow their banks.
PANA reports that the opening of some dams in Nigeria and neighbouring Cameroon has also triggered massive flooding in many states.
The government has yet to provide a ballpark figure of those killed or rendered homeless by the disaster.
-0- PANA SEG 9Oct2012