Ministry saves N55b from review of water projects contracts
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, yesterday disclosed that his ministry saved N55 billion from review of contracts for 26 major water projects in the country.
He said the Federal Government had begun a move to optimise available resources in the water sector to boost food security and stabilise the economy.
Adamu made these known while briefing the media at the launch of his Five-Year Compendium on Water Resources Development in Nigeria in Abuja. He said the water sector roadmap would enable more farmers engage in irrigation or dry season farming even as government is planning to ensure that the states sensitise farmers on early warning signs to prevent crop loss due to flood.
The roadmap, a 15-year immediate and long term plan (2016-2030), is also expected to tackle challenges of non completion and abandoning of water projects, completion of all priority and ongoing dam and irrigation projects.
“The relevance of water cannot be over emphasized. It is the very foundation of food security, job creation, water supply and sanitation as well as hydropower generation, among others,” Adamu said.
According to him, the master plan also provides strategies for the finalisation and implementation of flood management in River Niger and River Benue, among others, to ensure the lifting of 100 Nigerians out of poverty.
Adamu, who lamented that the draft national water resources bill designed to provide legal support to efficient management of the water resources was yet to be passed into law, said that despite setbacks, government was still engaging stakeholders and the National Assembly to ensure its passage.
“Thirty projects, including water supply, dams and irrigation, have so far been completed out of 166 inherited uncompleted projects, and more are underway.
“Due to our stringent contracts review processes, we have saved N55 billion from 26 major projects and have constructed 1, 559 water facilities and 2,300 additional water points across the country, creating a total of 37, 305 direct and indirect jobs,” he said.
Director General of the Nigeria Hydrological Service Agency (NIHSA), Clement Nze said most areas that were affected by flood this year were captured in the annual flood report of the agency.
He urged farmers and states to always take flood early warning signals to prevent crop loss as government continues to make effort at ensuring that dams are buffered to guard against floods.
“NIHSA has also developed a flood mobile phone app this year and this is a very important milestone for us because farmers and other interested parties can use it to query the weather and access other data,” he said.