Edo flood victims' N400m intact - committee member

By The Citizen

Auchi (Edo) - A member of the Edo flood relief committee, Ms Benedicta Attoh, has said that the N400 million released by the Federal Government for the 2012 flood victims in the state is intact.

Attoh said this in Auchi on Thursday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

'Nothing has happened to the money released by the Federal Government to last year's flood victims in Edo. The money is safe and intact.'

She attributed the delay in the disbursement of the money to the process adopted by the 14-member committee in ensuring that only victims who suffered one form of loss or the other benefited.

'The work the committee had to do to ensure all who deserved to benefit get their share of the money was enormous and it took time for us to conclude,' she said.

Attoh denied that the money had been diverted for other purposes, stressing that the committee only took its time in order not to make any mistake.

'Another thing is that we had to wait for the victims to return to their communities from where they were camped for physical verification.

'This was what necessitated the delay and we have concluded work and reports already submitted to the governor who has in his own quick response approved the money to be disbursed to the victims.

'Letters of invitations will soon be sent out in the coming days informing the victims who have been clearly identified on how to get their money,' she stated.

She said the committee had done a thorough job by going round all the communities affected by the flood in the three local government areas of the state.

NAN reports that more than 30 communities in Esako Central, Etsako East and Esan South East local government areas of Edo were affected by the flood.

Attoh, however, said no money had yet been received from the Dangote's committee that was constituted by the Federal Government to raise money for the flood victims.

She noted that the only thing the committee had received so far from that committee were relief materials which had been shared among the various communities.

According to her, 'Dangote committee never gave any money to the state.

'We understand that several of those who made pledges during the committee fund raising dinner in Abuja were yet to redeem such pledges.

'We are using this medium to call on those who are yet to redeem their pledges to please do so.'

She said the Edo relief committee had already commenced an advocacy programme on flood to the communities along the bank of River Niger and other flood-prone areas.

'Considering the warning that has again been handed down by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), we have advised that they move to higher grounds to avoid the experience of last year,' she said. (NAN)