President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the 36 state governors to desist from calling on the federal government to respond to natural disasters in their areas without first taking immediate action, describing it as unlawful.
Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, explained that reaction to flooding and other natural disasters should follow the triple response structure of the local governments, states, and federal governments.
“Each of the three tiers, the local government, the state government, and the federal government, has a sizeable budget at its disposal, allocated monthly precisely for dealing with these state-level natural emergencies, as well as federal agencies dedicated to doing the same.
“It is not clear why some of the state governments in question are not already drawing upon those funds to tackle the current emergency, and the general population is misguidedly calling on the federal government to intervene in all situations. If that money is, for whatever reason, no longer available, the affected states and local councils must immediately contact the relevant authorities to explain what has happened with those funds.
“Under the prevailing revenue allocation formula, 2.32 percent of derivation funds are set aside for ecology and disaster management. Of this amount, the 36 states and the FCT get 0.72 percent, and the 774 local governments get 0.6 percent, adding to 1.32 percent, leaving a balance of one percent to the government of the federation.
“By the law of land, NEMA takes 20 percent of the amount allocated to the Federal Government. The North East Development Commission, NEDC collects 10 percent, the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA 10 percent, and the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, GGW 0.5 percent, leaving 0.55 of the one percent to the government at the center for ecological protection and disaster management.”