Water Resources Minister, Suleiman Adamu, said the Federal Government hadsconstructed 260 dams that impounded 34 billion cubic metres of water across the country.
Addressing participants at the 29th regular meeting of the National Council on Water Resources (NCWR) on Thursday, January 19, 2023, in Sokoto, Adamu said the figure represented the total number of large and medium dams constructed by the Federal Government.
The minister said the dams’ construction was part of government efforts towards harnessing surface and ground water for drinking, irrigation and power generation.
According to him, Nigeria has about 333 billion cubic metres of surface water and about 156 billion cubic metres of groundwater, which could be harnessed to meet the current nation’s water supply demand.
“My Ministry is promoting Integrated Water Resources Management principles for sustainable management of the available water resource in the country,’’ he said.
Adamu added that, in order to sustain the gains in water supply, there was the need for effective collaboration amongst stakeholders in the sector.
“Doing so will holistically harness the rich potential and maximise the benefits of capital investment in the completed dams, water supply and irrigation infrastructure,’’ he said.
He further said that the ministry was undertaking some projects and programmes to improve urban, small town and rural water supply.
The minister however said that, already, the ministry had constructed 6,761 water supply schemes in the urban, semi urban and rural areas to meet the needs of about 32 million Nigerians.
The minister appreciated Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, the Sultan of Sokoto and the people of the state for accepting to host the council meeting in the state.
He enjoined the participants to use the opportunity by contributing towards strengthening the national water policy.
In his address, Tambuwal urged the council to diligently discuss the memos submitted by stakeholders for consideration .
He said the provision of potable water was a shared responsibility among to the three tiers of government and commended the Federal Governmrnt for holding the council meeting in Sokoto.
Tambuwal, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Mainasara Ahmed, urged the the Federal Government to reconsider the optimum utilisation of Shagari, Goronyo, Lugu and Bakalori dams.
The 29th regular meeting of the NCWR was themed: “Actualising Sustainable Development Goal-6: Prospects and Challenges.”
By Muhammad Nasir