Dr Joseph Ameh, popularly known as Erico, a Kogi State governorship aspirant has appealed to the Federal Government to evolve a permanent flood disaster management plan to save lives and reduce hardship of victims.
Ameh, a security expert running under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who made the call in an interview in Lagos today, said that part of the ecological funds should be allocated to flood disaster management and should be monitored to prevent its diversion to other projects.
The politician, who is the Managing Director of Real Strikers Security Services Ltd, advised government to use the funds to make pre and post-disaster management plans for flood zones in the country.
Ameh said that in making plans ahead, the federal government should identify waterlines and waterways, and then clear them.
“When rain falls, it would naturally flow through the channels into a particular dredged area. “Rivers should also be dredged; if rivers are being dredged, we gain a lot from it. “What do we gain? One, we have space of land available unto us for farming and all that; two, the sand that comes from under the water is as fine as possible, and it could be used for building.
“If under waters are being dredged, we have more space during the rainy season, even if it is dredged and the waterways are not being created, it would still create a lot of problems,’’ he said.
The aspirant advised the federal government to be proactive and go beyond giving relief materials, to making plans that include building houses on dry lands in advance, to temporarily relocate communities on flood plains whenever flooding was envisaged, to save lives and prevent hardship.
Ameh appealed to other states to emulate Lagos by creating sanitation enforcement agencies to deter people from dumping refuse in waterways, to prevent flooding.
He sympathised with flood victims across the nation and appealed to the ones in Kogi still having the discomfort to be patient with the federal government because of the economic situation of the country.
“I am appealing to my people in Kogi State to please, at this time, manage with the federal government, understand with the government that things are difficult at this time, that in the nearest future, solutions would be provided and all these kinds of situations would be avoided,’’ Ameh said.
Speaking on his governorship ambition, Ameh promised to turn Kogi state into an industrial hub through creative ideas to tackle youth restiveness, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty and insecurity.
Ameh said that he came from a humble background and grew his security outfit from a small business to a global player with branches nationwide with staff strength of about 10,000.
He said that he would collaborate with the federal government, woo investors and use his wealth of knowledge to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to end reliance on federal monthly allocation.
“If I become governor, I am not going to depend on federal allocation; I am going to create ideas that would prompt a lot of profitability, create several Small and Medium Scale Enterprises and bring all Kogites together to harness their potential. “When we put their potentialities to use, what it means is that everybody would be doing well at the same time; government also would do well, because if individuals are doing well, we would boost the IGR.
“My people have been begging me to go into politics for over 10 years and just three years ago, the youths came to beg me to come and help salvage Kogi State.
“I create a lot of ideas, so if I bring my wealth of knowledge to the state, it would ease the sufferings of my people, and that is why I came into the race,’’ he said .
Ameh said that he had plans to revive the Ajaokuta Steel Mill and other moribund industries and institutions if he could achieve his dream, adding that he had affiliations with South Africa, United States, Israel, Greece, United Kingdom and some other countries.