From Umar Danladi Ado, Sokoto
The Senate in Birnin Kebbi, donated N10 million to the families of those who lost their lives in the recent Warrah boat mishap as well as the survivors.
The donation was announced by the leader of the Senate delegation, Senator Muhammadu Adamu Aliero who led a high powered team of the Senate on a condolence visit to the people and Government of the state.
Aliero said that the donation was to ameliorate the suffering of the bereaved families, as well as the survivors and their dependents . The donation he said would be delivered to the Emir of Yauri for onward delivery to the bereaved families.
He said that, the visit followed a resolution passed by the Senate, following a motion moved on the floor of the Senate on the boat mishap by the Senate Leader, Dr. Abdullahi Yahaya.
Aliero stated that,the Senate recalled,with sadness the myriad number of lives lost in the country, especially in Warrah, due to such unfortunate mishaps, from 2003 to date .
Aliero further said that, such measures to be taken by the National Inland Waterways Agency, are the removal of tree trunks and the blasting of all rocks in the river .
Also, Hydro Power Producing Areas Development Commission (HYPPADEC) will help to improve navigation along River Niger , to prevent such incidents.
According to him, the agency was created to improve the means of livelihoods of riverine Communities , provide electricity, as well as irrigation .
He regretted that, nearly seven decades after establishing the dams, such irrigation facilities were not provided .
” It is now time to redress the ugly trend, with view to bolster food production and boost Nigeria’s food security, ” he added .
Delivering the message of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, who is the Chief Whip of the Senate
after condoling the government and people of Kebbi State as well as the Emir of Yauri over the boat accident on behalf of the entire Nigerian Senators, said the Senate was deeply touched by the lost of lives in the accident.
He said that some days ago, the Senate had a resolution, following a motion raised by Senate Leader, Dr. Yahaya Abdullahi and it was supported by all the Senators on the boat mishap.
Kalu said that the Senators have passed resolutions that the National Inland Waterways, NIWA ensure that all tree stumps in the river capable of causing accident be removed.
He said NIWA has been directed to ensure that the excercise is incorporated in next year’s budget.
The Senate according to him, has plan to make provision of Special Fund to NIWA to work with the State Government and other relief agencies .
Other resolutions reached by the Senate , he said include directing NEMA to quickly mobilize resources to see how they can assist the survivors of the boat mishap and that the Senate was poised to making new laws that could improve water transportation .
Responding, Bagudu lauded the Senate for the invaluable gesture , saying that , all the donations made, mostly pledges , were being collated centrally .
He recalled that, apart from the various donations made, the state had also received flurry of condolences from across the country .
Bagudu said:” People have been very magnanimous and we are overwhelmed by their generosity .
” The investigation being conducted would reveal the causes of the mishap and the findings are being awaited ,” Bagudu, declared .
He said Senator Bala Ibn NaAllah, representing Kebbi South Senatorial district has bought some boats to improve water transport in the area in addition to the ones purchased by Kebbi State Government.
The delegation was headed by Senator Muhammadu Adamu Aliero, Kebbi Central, Chairman Senate committee on Works.
Others were, Senate Majority Leader, Dr. Yahaya Abdullahi, Kebbi North, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu,Senate Chief Whip, Dr. Sabi Abdullahi Niger, Senate Deputy Chief Whip, Senator Bala Ibn NaAllah, Kebbi South, Chairman Senate Committee on Airforce and Senator Adetunbi , Chairman Senate Committee on Budget and National Planning.