The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to examine the role and status of River Basin Development Authorities with a view to improving their performances. This is to make them meet up with the demands of the new Agricultural Agenda of the present administration.
Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, made this known over the weekend, in Abuja, while declaring open a 3 day retreat, organized by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources for all Directors in the Ministry, Managing Directors of River Basin Development Authorities and Heads of Agencies under the Ministry.
The Minister emphasized that the retreat is aimed at strengthening weaknesses in the delivery of the Ministry’s mandate and to develop a Road Map that would enable a sustainable positive impact in the Water Sector within a short period, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Framework.
Engr. Adamu said the urgent task before the Ministry is that of aligning with one of the components of the present Administration’s Change Agenda, which is Agricultural Development.
He said “I expect that this retreat will in particular, examine the role and status of the 12 River Basin Development Authorities in meeting up the demand of the new Agricultural Agenda. I dare say that much of our success during the life of this administration will depend on effective performance of the River Basins”
He noted that Agriculture is one of the major focuses of this Government, however, currently only 15% of the 3.1 million hectares of irrigable land is equipped with facilities for all year round farming.
“Extensive and all year round irrigated agriculture is impressive, considering the drastic decline in the earnings from petroleum production, the need to develop other sources of national income as a means of generating jobs and wealth creation and the overall urgent need to restructure the economy” , he said.
Speaking on Water Supply, The Minister said that available report by the Ministry indicated that implementation of water supply projects and programmes have resulted in increase access to water supply from 58% in year2010 to 69% in year 2015, adding that the present administration is desirous of uplifting the Nigerian citizens by improving the people’s socio-economic well-being through the provision of adequate and potable water.
In her Remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mrs. Rabi Jimeta, said that the retreat was organized to proffer possible solutions to the challenges that are hindering the Ministry from efficiently accomplishing its responsibilities.
“ It is our hope that the outcome of the retreat will go a long way in setting the right direction for the water sector, harnessing all the available resources and synergizing all effort towards better realization of the Ministry’s mandate” She said.
Director Information, FMWR