The House of Representatives, Wednesday, resolved to “declare a state of emergency on the poor state of infrastructure in all the coastal communities in Nigeria.”
The House urged the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure the provision of basic and primary healthcare services in all the coastal communities, while also urging the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to prioritise the provision of potable water in all coastal communities in the country.
The lawmakers urged the Federal Ministry of Education to, in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Boards, (SUBEBs), of the coastal states, ensure the establishment of standard schools in the coastal communities in order to improve access to quality education and help in equipping the already existing ones.
In addition, the parliament urged the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), to step up efforts in infrastructural development in the coastal communities within their statutory purviews.
These resolutions were based on the unanimous adoption of a motion moved by a member, Kolade Akinjo, titled, ‘Need for government’s special intervention in improving the living standards of coastal communities’.
Akinjo noted that the Nigerian coastal zone spreads across 10 states namely, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Rivers and Imo.
The lawmaker decried that despite Nigeria having an impressive coastline, “the infrastructure decadence in tangential coastal communities is alarming.”
Akinjo said, “The House is disturbed that despite being surrounded by water, coastal communities in Nigeria do not have access to potable water and are left to use water polluted with saline or crude oil or even human excrement as their source of water, thereby exposing them to diseases such as cholera and diarrhoea, to name a few.
“The House is also aware that those communities lack access to basic healthcare, despite the government’s construction or establishment of rural healthcare centres in different wards all over Nigeria.
“The House is also disturbed that the growing state of infrastructural deficit in the coastal areas of the federation manifest with spiral effects on the poor state of the structure of both primary and secondary schools, leaving the schools in an alarming state of disrepair, where students and pupils of respective schools have to sit on bare floors to learn in a non-conducive academic environment.
“The House is further disturbed that the adumbration of challenges of the coastal communities mentioned above are equally extended to more worrisome situations, where many of the coastal communities in Nigeria are not connected to the national power grid and there is no critical effort to make them enjoy solar power grid support of the Federal government.
“The House is worried that telecommunications connection in the coastal communities is equally very poor and that the budgets of the federal ministries and parastatals seem to overtly silence on the infrastructural predicaments of the coastal communities.”