The Federal Government on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 said the completion of all abandoned water projects in the country was paramount to the overall goal of improving access to potable water in the country.
Mr Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, said this at the opening of the 2018 Media Week to highlight achievements of the administration in the last three years.
According to him, the ministry is focused on working in line with the National Water Resources Master Plan, which targets deriving optimum benefits for Nigerians.
He said that the ministry had in the last three years embarked on only two projects of Kazaure Water Supply Project and the Dukku Regional Water Supply project in Jigawa and Gombe states respectively.
“We are committed to completing all ongoing viable projects in the ministry to derive optimum benefits from government’s investments.
“It is instructive to note that since the inception of administration, my ministry has initiated only two projects, this underscores the emphasis on completion of the numerous ongoing abandoned projects inherited from past administration,” he said.
Adamu said that the ministry had initiated the National Irrigation Development programme to aid economic diversification, promote food security and employment creation.
He said that this programme would establish additional 100,000 hectares of irrigated farmland by 2020 and 500,000 hectares by 2030.
He noted that the ministry was working with private sector and state governments to complement governments’ efforts to deliver 41, 000 hectares of irrigated agriculture by 2019.
The minister added that the ministry was also implementing the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria programme in partnership with the World Bank to the tune of $495 million.
“The project involves the rehabilitation and expansion of about 42,000 hectares of irrigation land under the first phase to be completed by 2022.”
He said that Bakolori, Hadeija, Kano River, Dadin Kowa, Middle Rima Irrigation projects were ongoing with the overall goal of poverty reduction and sustainable agriculture production.
The minister however lamented that only 1,930 megawatts out of the 12, 220 megawatts of hydro power potential was being developed at Kainji, Jebba and Shiroro Dams, noting that efforts were on to concession some of them to become more beneficial to the populace.
Earlier, Alhaji Aliyu Pategi, the Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, commended the ministry on implementation of the Songhai model of agriculture, urging all river basins to adopt the same model to improve lives of Nigerians.
Pategi noted the challenges of poor capacity building of river basins needed to be corrected at the ongoing National Council of Water Resources meeting and pledged the commitment of the legislature to promote all programmes to reposition the water sector.
By Tosin Kolade