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FG Reveals $7B Direct Economic Damage from 2022 Floods in Nigeria, Alongside Grim Loss of Life


By Grace Chigbu

In a solemn announcement, the Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled a staggering revelation regarding the economic toll inflicted by the devastating floods that ravaged the nation in 2022. According to official sources, the financial burden resulting from the direct economic aftermath of the catastrophic floods has been estimated at a colossal $7 billion. This sobering figure, disclosed on Tuesday, underscores the severe impact of the disaster on Nigeria’s economic landscape.

Moreover, the government has reported an alarming loss of human lives due to the calamity. Over 600 lives were tragically lost as a direct result of the floods. This heart-wrenching loss of life further amplifies the gravity of the situation and underscores the urgency of addressing the challenges posed by climate change.

Vice President Kashim Shettima, a prominent figure within the government, conveyed this disconcerting information during a crucial event hosted by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The event, which took place in the nation’s capital, Abuja, was attended by dignitaries and experts striving to combat the adverse effects of climate change. Regrettably, Vice President Shettima was unable to deliver the statement personally, and his words were eloquently conveyed by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Hassan.

In his statement, Vice President Shettima painted a vivid picture of the profound impact that the 2022 floods had on Nigeria’s social fabric and economic stability. He remarked, “We are all living witnesses to the ravaging floods of last year (2022), which held the country to a standstill for days.” The aftermath of the disaster disrupted daily life and dealt a severe blow to the nation’s infrastructure, agriculture, and settlements.

The Vice President also cited a World Bank assessment, which provided a sobering perspective on the scale of the destruction. The assessment, known as the Global Rapid post-disaster damage estimation, meticulously calculated the direct economic damage to critical infrastructure. The figure of $7 billion, as estimated by the assessment, is equivalent to a substantial 1.6 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product for the year 2021. This financial loss, monumental in magnitude, signifies a significant setback for the nation’s economic progress.

The impact of this disaster transcends financial losses. The Vice President emphasized that the loss of over 600 lives must not be overlooked or relegated to mere statistics. He solemnly stated, “For Nigeria, that was climate change at its worst.” This stark reality underscores the urgent need for robust measures to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Vice President Shettima further underscored Nigeria’s vulnerability to the effects of climate change, despite the nation’s relatively minor contribution to global carbon emissions. He lamented, “Even as a developing nation in the global south, Nigeria is gravely impacted by the negative effects of climate change.” The Vice President revealed that Nigeria ranks among the ten most vulnerable countries worldwide to the impacts of climate change. He emphasized that Africa as a whole is responsible for less than four percent of total global carbon emissions, highlighting the disproportionate burden carried by nations least responsible for the crisis.

The Vice President concluded by highlighting the personal impact of climate change on citizens, especially those in the North-Eastern region of Nigeria. Drawing from his own experience, he spoke of the scars borne by individuals and communities impacted by climate change-induced droughts, desertification, and erratic rainfall patterns. The destructive consequences, including sandstorms, floods, and widespread destruction of farmlands, infrastructure, and human settlements, have taken a substantial toll on Nigeria’s socio-economic fabric.

In light of these grim revelations, it is evident that Nigeria faces a formidable challenge in combating the effects of climate change. The financial losses and loss of life underscore the pressing need for a comprehensive, coordinated effort to address the devastating impact of extreme weather events. The government’s announcement serves as a clarion call to the international community to stand united in combating climate change and working towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

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