Niger State Deputy Governor, Comrade Yakubu Garba, has given a matching order to the State Urban Development Board (NSUDB) and other relevant agencies to clear all structures on waterways to mitigate the effects of flooding in Minna and its environs.
The Deputy Governor gave the order while addressing members of the press shortly after inspecting some areas affected by the heavy downpour that occurred last night.
He said the era of giving verbal directives without action was over, calling on those who have structures on waterways to remove them with immediate effect as no warning notice will be given to anyone anymore.
The deputy governor, who is equally the Chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency (NSEMA), said a technical team comprising members of NSEMA, the Niger State Urban Development Board (NSUDB), and the Niger State Environmental Protection Agency (NISEPA), with the backing of security agencies, will go round to take stock of the structures on waterways, which he said must give way for the free flow of water.
He disclosed that the state government, through its relevant agencies, will ensure that all debris in waterways is cleared to allow for the free flow of water, calling on residents to desist from the act of dumping refuse on waterways, as according to him, anyone caught in the act will be made to face the law.
Comrade Yakubu Garba observed that the government has the primary responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of its citizens, and the present administration, under the leadership of Gov. Mohammed Umaru Bago, was determined to carry out the responsibility.
While commiserating with those affected by the heavy downpour, the deputy governor warned people against acquiring land on waterways and appreciated God for not recording any casualties as a result of the flood.
The Acting General Manager of the Urban Development Board, Architect Mohammed Bako Isma'il, said they will swing into action immediately, adding that all the identified structures were illegal structures erected without a building permit from the board.
He disclosed that the structures had since been marked by the board, some of them since 2021 but without action, but that with the present executive order given to the board, they have no time to waste in executing the order.
On the issue of compensation, the acting general manager said the identified structures have no permit and, as such, are not qualified for any compensation, urging the public to always obtain a permit before erecting any structure.
Some of the areas visited include New Market, Tungan Maje, Chanchaga, Brighter Area, and Gbeganu within Minna and environs.
The Managing Director of the Hydroelectric Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC), Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq Yelwa, has said that for any organisation to be placed on the path of sustainable growth and development, it has to be free of bribery, gratification, misappropriation of public funds, and misuse of public office.
The managing director stated this while speaking during the official inauguration and induction of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) of HYPPADEC in Minna on Wednesday.
He explained that he has been looking forward to the day because of his desire to promote the ethics compliance agenda of the commission, stressing that it was imperative to commend the efforts of the Independent Corrupt Practises and Other Offences Commission (ICPC) towards ensuring sustainable development in the Nigerian public sector through the establishment of anti-corruption units across Ministries, departments, and agencies.
The Managing Director said the ACTU unit was meant to promote the ICPC mandate on prohibition and prevention of corruption in the public service, adding that wherever a unit is established, it operates as an autonomous outfit with functional linkages with the office of the chief executives.
He directed all Heads of Directorate divisions or units, as well as all members of staff, to cooperate with the anti-corruption unit in order to build a corrupt-free organisation.
Alhaji Sadiq Yelwa said the objective was to get rid of corruption in the commission and foster a healthy working environment, effective leadership, appreciable compliance with ethical behaviour, and effective management of public funds.
He assured the ICPC that it would support the unit in taking disciplinary action against anyone found wanting and tarnishing the hard image of the commission.
Also speaking, the ICPC Niger State Resident Commissioner, Mall Zaiyanu Danmusa, said the ACTU initiative by the ICPC was approved by the federal government as an in-house mechanism for corruption reduction within ministries, departments, and agencies and institutionalised good governance in line with the fight against corruption.
He said the ACTU would compliment the ICPC in building strong institutions for accountability and transparency in government organisations and make appropriate recommendations to block corruption loopholes.
The newly inaugurated and inducted (HYPPADEC) ACTU Chairman, Arch. Yusuf, said that he was honoured and humbled to be called to serve as the pioneer HYPPADEC ACTU chairman along with the members of the unit.
The chairman expressed his appreciation for the opportunity given to them by the managing director and his management team to serve as active members for the next three years.
He assured that they would develop and produce an anti-corruption guide outlining definite procedures of operation and remedial action arising from conflicts and breaches.
He said he will also design compliant programmes to ensure adherence to statutory standard rules, regulations, procedures, or timelines with respect to the implementation of an ethics and integrity regime within the commission.