The Ministry of Water Resources has disclosed its readiness to develop and implement a National Irrigation Programme to boost food production, food security and create jobs in the country.
This is aimed at repositioning the water sector; with the objective of enabling it perform effectively in line with the yearning and aspiration of Nigerians.
The Minister of Water Resources in Nigeria, Mr Suleiman Adamu stated this during the public presentation of the Water Resources Sector Road-Map tilted “Immediate and Long Term Strategies for Water Sector (2016-2030)” in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mr Adamu explained that the road map is composed of eight major programmes, some of which are: development of a blueprint to strengthen the River Basin Development Authorities as enablers for food security and socio-economic development, identification of Dams with Hydro Electric Power potentials for development Establishment of a policy and regulatory framework for the Water Sector, and enhance service delivery.
On the issue of water and sanitation the minister explained that a special programme has been develop and will be implemented to attain the sustainable Development Goals(SDGs)
The programme is tagged “Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene(PEWASH)” is designed as a partnership between Federal, States ,Local Government ,Private Sectors, Development Partners and the Communities to guarantee improved and functional access to Water supply in Nigeria and Functional Toilets in Public Areas, both rural and urban areas.
The Minister also noted that the government has taken measures to revamp the River Basin Development Authorities to create jobs under a graduate/Youths Empowerment Scheme in the country.
“We have developed a National Irrigation programme of which we intend developing our irrigation potential to500,000Ha through direct government intervention and to facilitate the development of another 1 million Ha by large scale commercial farmers through community, Public partnership and creating jobs through Irrigation farming”.
On his part, the Chairman Senate Committee on Water Resources, Senator Shittu Ubali said there is need for provision of affordable drinking water to the citizenry. He however reiterated the senate’s commitment to provide legal and regulatory frameworks to support investments from various sources in water, sanitation and hygiene that will benefits the country.
“I am ever ready alongside my colleagues in the senate committee on water resources and indeed the entire senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to be supportive of any bill aimed at resolving water and sanitation problem in Nigeria”, Senator Ubali stated.
In a related development the Nigerian Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Mr Audu Ogbeh said his ministry is in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources to launch Project Ten: Thirty seven, to create tens in all the states and the Federal Capital Territory to boost all seasons farming in the country.
The roadmap also recognises the role of innovative financing and budgetary prioritisation for the water sector, enhanced Public Private Partnership programmes, sanitation and monitoring. Other aspects of the Ministry’s plan of action for Nigeria’s water resources include effective and efficient management of wastewater, and strengthening Nigeria’s capacity to respond climate change.