Saturday, April 19, 2014

UNIBEN blames flooding on FG, Edo State’s nonchalance

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The University of Benin has faulted the claims by the Federal Government that the government had done all it could to prevent and address the flood ravaging some parts of the country, as the University claims that the government could have helped it prevent its present suffering.

Some buildings at the Ugbowo campus of the institution have been submerged by the flood ravaging some parts of Edo State.

The University said on Thursday that it had pleaded with the Federal Government and the Edo State Government to help it prevent the flood. None of them came to the university’s rescue.

“I must confess that the gully created by the flood is giving the management of the institution a nightmare,” the University’s Public Relations Officer, Harrison Osarenren, said while conducting journalist round the gully site.

“The institution has before now appealed to governments and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to come and assist us prevent the flood,” he said.

Since no action was taken before the flood, the University has now pleaded with the Federal Government to help it from its current nightmare which has chased some lecturers out of their official residence.

“Right now, the situation is getting worse and the gully is getting wider and wider by the day,” Mr. Osarenren said. “Its depth is more than 500 metres and about 2 km when stretched. The flood is causing a lot of threat to lives and property in the institution.”

Mr. Osarenren disclosed that the gully, which was first noticed about six years ago, had forced some lecturers to abandon their apartments. He said that an assessment of the problem by an expert from the institution showed that “the university will require about N1.3 billion to tackle the gully erosion.”

“And this of course is out of the reach of the management of the university. We are appealing to both the federal and state governments for assistance,” the university spokesman said. “The federal government should urgently release the ecological fund to assist the university to address the problem.”

The institution’s spokesman also urged non-governmental organisations to also come to the aid of the university.

“Otherwise, there might be the need for the authorities to relocate the institution,’’ Mr. Osarenren said.

The flood has also damaged a portion of the university’s land while the fence demarcating the institution from the neighbouring Ikosodin community has been washed away.

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