The Honurable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, FNSE said that water is central to Nigeria’s quest for decent jobs, greener economy and sustainable development.
The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Musa Ibrahim stated this on Tuesday 9th May, 2017 during the 6th National Water Conference held in Makurdi, Benue State.
The National Water Conference organized by the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna (NWRI) in collaboration with the Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority (LBRBDA) is a coordinated framework that is aimed at bringing together the various stakeholders in the water sector to share experiences on topical issues, inspire creativity and proffer suggestions, recommendations and awareness about water’s centrality to economic growth.
According to Adamu, the theme of the conference, “Water and Jobs” is germane considering the desire of the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to create jobs in every facet of the Nigerian economy.
He stated that the importance of water to our national life cannot be over emphasized. The United Nations World Water Development Report 2016, estimates that well over one billion jobs are heavily water-dependent. Such jobs are found in agriculture, forestry, inland fisheries, mining and resource extraction, power generation, water supply and sanitation.
He therefore called on the participants to come up with recommendations that would encourage governments at all levels to formulate and urgently pursue a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The outcome of the conference would help in developing national programmes on water and jobs” he said.
To strengthen the Water sector, the Water Resources Bill would soon be passed into law by the National Assembly. According to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Senator Ubali Shittu the process of passing the bill is now at advanced stage.
“From all indications, the Senate is favourably disposed to treating the bill in the affirmative considering its substance and relevance to our social and economic development”, he said.
In his remarks, the Executive Director, National Water Resources Institute, Dr. Emmanuel Adanu, said that the conference would address water as a driver for sustainable development and poverty eradication, irrigation sector review as well as using the River Basin Development Authorities as drivers for food security and job creation.
Attari M. Hope