As part of efforts to boost food product in Nigeria, the Federal Government is to begin the construction of at least 10 new dams in each of the 36 states as well as the Federal Capital Territory.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh says “PROJECT 10/37” will begin in 2017. “We hope to create, in the next few years, 10 dams in each States of the federation. We have a project coming up next year called PROJECT 10/37, we are looking at a minimum of ten dams in each States including the FCT.”
Speaking at the public presentation of the water sector roadmap with the theme: “Immediate and Long Term Strategies for the Water Sector 2016-2030,” organised by the Ministry of Water Resources in Abuja, Ogbeh notes that the Nigeria’s Agriculture sector is in dire need of water as the country can no longer rely solely on rainfall to sustain its agriculture.
“It is said that if the world is unfortunate to witness another world war, the cause of that war will be either food or water. Agriculture is in desperate need of water particularly because we know, that we can no longer continue to rely on rainfall to sustain our agriculture.
“We need the Ministry of Water Resources more desperately than the Ministry needs its self, we need to irrigate the land, we need to keep the animals, we need water for other reasons. We are looking at a future where, whether it rains or it does not rain, we can continue to produce food because if we don’t, as our population is ballooning towards 450million by 2050, we may face serious problems with food production.”
The Water Sector Roadmap
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has unveiled a 14-year water sector roadmap which is expected to promote development in the sector from year 2016-30.
Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu says the Road Map encompasses eight major projects;
*Establishment of a policy and regulatory framework for the sector,
*Organization and manpower review of the Ministry for enhanced service delivery, *Prioritisation and implementation of the Ministry’s projects,
*Development and implementation a National Irrigation Development Programme (2016-2030) to boost food production.
*Identification of dams with Hydro Electric Power Potentials for development, *Development and implementation of a National Water Supply and Sanitation Programme to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs.),
*Development of a Blueprint to strengthen the River Basin Development Authorities as enablers for food security and socio-economic development and
*The identification off alternative sources for funding the delivery of Water Supply and sanitation through enhanced collaboration with Development partners, State and Local Government Authorities, Communities and the private sector.
Adamu says government has identified detailed implementation plan for the road map adding that its execution was fully on course. “In this regard, we are in strong collaboration with the Federal Ministries of Agriculture and Rural Development, Power, Justice, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Environment, Health as well as Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission ( ICRC), Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, Bureau for Public Enterprises, State Governments and other Stakeholders.” He gave assurances that implementation of the road map will be accelerated in the third quarter of the year and beyond.