The Federal Government of Nigeria on Thursday unveiled its “Water Sector Road Map,” with the Theme, “Immediate and Long Term Strategies for the Water Sector 2016-2030, with the projection that the country will need a yearly investment of N59 billion to attain 78,000 hectares of irrigation by 2019 and N1.5 trillion to attain 500,000 hectare by 2030.
The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu who disclosed this at the unveiling event in Abuja noted that Nigeria is blessed with 3.12 million hectares of potential irrigable land but less than 10 percent has been fully developed and being utilized.
He explained that the ministry intended to develop Nigeria irrigation potential to 500,000Ha through direct government intervention and to facilitate the development of another 1million hectares by large scale commercial famers through community, public private partnership.
He said the National Water Resources Policy and Bill had been in draft form for upward of 10 years and when approved and passed into law, it will establish effective water sector governance, legal and regulatory framework for the water sector, which will create a stable and attractive environment for investors and development partners in the water sector
He said the draft Water Law which will be a significant feat “has been concluded and forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation for vetting and subsequent presentation to the Federal Executive Council and the National Assembly.
On the road map program, he said, “It covers implementation of a special National water supply sanitation programmed to attain the sustainable development goal, theme ‘Partnership for Expanded Water, sanitation and hygiene (PENWASH) 2016-2030’. The programme is a partnership between federal, states, local governments, private sectors, development partners and the communities.”
Meanwhile, the Minster o f Agriculture Audu Ogbe, said, “next year, we are going to have a programme called project ten and thirty-seven. We are looking at a minimum ten dam in every state including the Federal Capital Territory.”
He said, Nigerian cannot rely on water to sustain crops, “ we need to irrigate the land, to feed our animals and to store for other uses and this is why we are cooperating with Ministry of Water Resources”.
He also called on all Nigerian engaged in agriculture to make use of their land.
Mrs. Rabi Shuaibu Jimeta, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resource, noted that in National access to water in 2015 was 69 percent, that 31 percent or 52.7 million Nigerian do not have access to water supply.
She added, “Water is life and in order to give life to the teeming population of our dear country, we must adhere to the recommendations of the Road Map especially in scaling up water coverage and sanitation and irrigated agriculture.
“The ministry is position to achieve 100 percent access to water supply to our citizens by the year 2030, when it national population is estimated to grow to about 257million.
“Presently 31 per cent of 52.7million of Nigerians, mostly in the rural areas, are still without access to portable water supply.”
Present at the Water Resource Road Map unveiling include Senator Muhammad Shittu, Chairman Senate Committee on Water Resource, Minister of Labour and Productivity Chris Ngige, and Permanent secretaries of various ministry.