Adamu reveals key way to reduce poverty in Nigeria

Francis Francis

Francis Francis

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman H Adamu has reiterated the importance of irrigation and food security in the socio economic development and poverty reduction in Nigeria.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack mni, made this assertion at the South West Regional Workshop on the Establishment and Strengthening of Water Users Associations (WUAs) for the Management of Public Irrigation Schemes, with Middle Ogun Irrigation Project as the Case Study, holding at the University of Ibadan Conference Hall, from Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd June, 2022.

Adamu recalled that at the inception of this administration, the Federal Government accorded the Water Sector, particularly irrigation, a priority status in the socio- economic development of the country in meeting the Cardinal programme of the government in the areas of poverty reduction, integrated rural development, employment generation, good environment management, and food security respectively.

He reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to massively invest in irrigation Sub- Sector to make Nigeria food and water secured by moving from Drought -Prone, Rain -Fed Agriculture, to Irrigated Agriculture for self sufficiency and poverty reduction.

The Honourable Minister noted that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has identified Irrigation-Sub Sector as one of the key Policy Thrusts of the Federal government to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty by the year 2030

He added that the collaborative effort of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the World Bank in carrying out The TRIMMING Project’s intervention in selected Irrigation Schemes across the country has acted as a model for other Schemes to address rural poverty through progressive management transfer to regulated bodies in the form of Water Users Associations (WUAs)

He explained that the full scale operationalization of WUAs by farmers will lead to positive performance of irrigation Sub-Sector with multiplier effects of efficient financial uses, Sense of ownership of irrigation systems, responsible use of irrigation systems, and accountability among members

He enjoined members to come up with workable policy guidelines to strengthen WUAs effective and efficient management of Public Irrigation Schemes

Also in her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary Mrs Didi Walson-Jack mni who was represented by the Director General Services, Mr Kayode Adamson noted that the Regional Workshop is a veritable platform to address the current Irrigation Sub-sector challenges by proffering all-inclusive measures to ensure that all the Farmers in the States and Local Government Areas are fully integrated and involved in the adoption and operationalization of Water User’s Associations (WUAs) to increase Private Sector participation and investments in the Irrigation Sub-Sector.

She added with optimism that the effort will promote healthy competition in irrigated agriculture for National Food Security and Sustainable National Development.

In her remarks, the Director of Irrigation and Drainage, Federal Ministry of Water Resources Engr Oyeronke Oluniyi pointed out that the Federal Government had earlier introduced the concept of Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM) to ensure the involvement of farmers in Irrigation Schemes , stressing that the proceeds of PIM was the Establishment of well structured Water Users Associations (WUAs) at the Scheme levels with the resultant Irrigation Institutional and Management framework being propagated by the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMMING) Project.

Participants at the Workshop were Government Officials, members of the Academia, Irrigation Stakeholders, Traditional Rulers, Farmers, Young Professionals Forum and Country Representatives among others

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