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Govt plans overhaul of River Basins, says no plan to privatise


Water Supply. Image source aurecongroupTHE Federal Government yesterday unfolded plan to revamp the River Basin Development Authority (RBDA) for it to be self-sustaining, saying there are no plans to privatise the River Basins.

Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Adam Suleiman, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during presentation of a report by the committee on the development of blueprint and action plan to strengthen the River Basins, said: “Our plan is to reposition and change the attitude of both management and members of staff in the River Basins. We intend to institutionalise certain things like water tariff and the need for people to pay for the water they are using.”

He said the government aims to enter into the public-private partnership and reposition the sub-sector, commercialising it to be self-sustaining.

Suleiman, who unfolded plans to look into other ways of generating funds to develop the RBDA, said government would be considering areas of public-private partnership, grants by donor agencies and special intervention funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He gave assurance that in the next 18 to 24 months, Nigerians would begin to see the needed changes in the RBDA, as the government would begin to partner with the private sector and also engage in farming activities, adding that they would further collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture to boost food security.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Nurudeen Rafindadi, said the action plan for the committee was to deliver on the key mandate of the present administration, which included integrated rural development, mass job requirement of the youths and increased agricultural production to ensure food security.

He said part of the committee’s findings was that the RBDA are badly equipped and water is not being utilised either for irrigation or other aspects of agricultural production.

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