Kogi flood victims reject N3,000 payout

LOKOJA—VICTIMS of the 2012 flood disaster in Kogi have rejected the offer of N3, 000 compensation from the state government, describing the gesture as inadequate. Some of the victims told newsmen in Lokoja, Sunday, that the N3, 000 offered to them by the government was far below the losses they suffered individually during the disaster.

The flood, which affected nine local government areas of the state, destroyed more than 500 houses and rendered 15,000 residents homeless. Some of the victims said that they were paid N3, 000 compensation on Thursday by a team of government officials at LGEA Primary School at Gadumo, Lokoja.

Among the victims were Mr. Zacheus Momorebe, Mr. James Oguche, Mr. Suleiman Ogidi and Mr. Olaitan Ayorinde, who claimed to be landlords.

They said that their houses located on Ganaja Road and the old Polytechnic quarters were completely submerged by the flood. The victims said the amount could not in any way ameliorate the losses they suffered.

They alleged a lack of transparency in the sharing of the money given to the victims by the Federal Government, organisations and individuals.

Disbursement of N139million

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, recalls that the state government recently released N139 million to the nine affected local government areas. The local governments received sums ranging from N10 million to N20 million to be disbursed to victims.

Reacting to the complaints, the state Commissioner for Environment, Alhaji Abdulrhaman Wuya, said that the money paid to the victims should not be regarded as compensation but assistance.

He said that considering the method used to allocate the N139 million to the affected  areas and in the bid to spread the assistance, the amount each person would receive would be in the range of N3, 000.

“More post-flood measures that will benefit all of them are on the way. They should remain calm and bear with the government,” he said. Wuya also appealed to people living along river banks and waterways to relocate to avoid the experience of the last year during which  many lives and property were  lost.

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