Friday, 20 May 2016

BREAKING NEWD::---Federal government raised alarm, say River Niger is drying

River Niger is
drying up


– The Federal government has
raised its voice regarding the
drying up of River Niger
– According to the government,
the change is due to dumping of
industrial waste and climate
alterations
– Nigeria is conducting and
environmental audit to determine
the level of dryness
The alarm was raised on Thursday, May 19, at
a meeting in which the need to pay more attention to
the development was raised.
Vanguard reports that the Auditor General of the
Federation (AGF), Mr Samuel Tyonongo
Ukura, made the disclosure during a meeting with
the Edo state Auditor-General and members of
the Edo state public accounts committee in his office
in Abuja.
River Niger may be nearing extinction.
Ukura, however, assured that Nigeria was in the
process of conducting an environmental audit of the
River Niger to determine its level of dryness.
Meanwhile, AGoF has called on the National
Assembly to pass the Audit Bill into law. He
said there were certain international ratings that the
country cannot attain without passing an audit law.
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Ukura explained that the initial investigation of the
River Niger showed that the decline of the river’s
flow was mainly due to climate change, industrial
waste and problems caused by population growth.
River Niger has a total length of about 4100
kilometres and is the third longest river in Africa,
after the Nile and the Congo-Zaire rivers and
spreads through ten countries.
It is estimated that about 110 million people live in
the river’s basin. Ukura said the audit will be done
under the African Supreme Audit Institute
(AFROSAI), with Mali, Niger,
Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, Algeria,
Chad and Cote I’voire taking centre stage as they
are directly affected.



He said it was necessary for government to address
the issue so as to avoid a repeat of the negative
impact of the drying up of Lake Chad. “Within a
few decades, River Niger will completely
disappear.
There are certain things in the preliminary
investigation we discovered that is happening. People
have been building dams without authorisation along
the river.
“And the law establishing the River
Niger Basin Commission states that
before you do any serious activity
along the River Niger, you have to tell
other countries.”
But these activities are taking place without
authorisation. “Also the river is being misused.
There are certain activities that will cause the river
to dry up, like dumping waste.
“People dump certain things like
toxin waste and it destroys our
aquatic system. So we will look at
these things to see what can be
done to stop its drying,” he said.
He said that the countries plan to hold a meeting to
this effect in September, here in Nigeria. On the
call on the National Assembly to pass the Audit
Bill into law, Mr Ukura said there were certain
international ratings that the country cannot attain
without passing an audit law.
According to him, “The audit law was
created in 1956 when the main
sources of revenue was from the
sale of cocoa, soyabeans, groundnut,
timber, palm oil and the rest. So this
needs to be looked at.
“Also, the audit law when passed will
give the office of the Auditor-General
more power and some hidden forces
do not want this.
“This is because the new law will
give the office the power to sanction
and disallow certain expenditure and
some people do not want that,” he said.
In his remarks, the Auditor-General, Edo
state, Mr Bernard Aigbe said that the he and
members of his office were there to see how to
bridge gaps between the two offices.
Aigbe noted that the office of the Auditor-
General of the Federation had introduced certain
strategies at federal level to ensure efficient use of
government resources which he planned to introduce in
Edo state.
Their focus he said was on the Treasury and
Performance Audit which tries to monitor and
evaluate government expenditure on capital projects to
ensure completion.