FG embarks on extensive irrigated agriculture for food security, massive job creation

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BY ONYEKA AJUMOBI ONOCHIE

The Federal Government has said it is presently embarking on extensive and all-year-round irrigated agriculture towards attaining its aspiration for food security and massive job creation.

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Revealing this to journalists in Abuja, Tuesday, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, said the FG, through his ministry, is supporting the nation towards ensuring significant reduction in total dependency on rain-fed agriculture in line with President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s agenda in facilitating alternative sources of wealth creation. He spoke at the opening of a two-day workshop for water and sanitation journalists tagged “Effective Media Reporting: Towards Sustained Audience Enlightenment of Successes Recorded In the Water Sector.”

Apart from this, the minster noted that there is also a strong drive to significantly improve on the national access to potable water supply with the objective of achieving 100% access by the year 2030, when the population is estimated to have grown to about 257 million as encapsulated in the Sustainable Development Goals target.

“This goal is in line with the aspiration of this present government and is borne out of the ministry’s vision to provide sustainable access to safe and sufficient water resources towards meeting the cultural and socio-economic development needs of all Nigerians,” he said, adding, “as the first term of this administration is gradually winding down, it is important to prepare you for the arduous task of giving government adequate and world class media publicity.

“It is the realization of this huge task ahead of you that prompted us to take the initiative and proactive measure to train you ahead of time.”

The minister, who also drew attention to the challenges of open defecation in Nigeria, lamented that the country is presently at the top of the ladder of countries with the highest number of people practicing the dirty act, second only behind India and first in Africa.

He said, as part of FG’s efforts to ending the debacle, National Roadmap towards making Nigeria free of it by 2025 was developed and launched in 2016, lamenting, however, that only minimal progress has been achieved in the implementation of the Raodmap, with only 10 local government areas across the country so far certified as open defecation free, according to National Open Defecation (ODF) Protocol, stressing the determination of his ministry to scale up the ODF Campaign.

Also speaking, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Comfort Ekaro, appreciated the efforts of the Nigerian media in widely giving positive publicity to the ministry, stressing that the usual coverage has, on the other hand, gone a long way in educating her ministry about happenings and developments in water and sanitation sector across the world.

Pix: Engr Suleiman Adamu inspecting produce at an irrigation farm.

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