As part of efforts to address the vicious cycle of tension and mistrust between Farmers and Governments at all levels, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority is holding South East Regional Workshop on Establishment / Strengthening of Water Users Associations (WUAs) for Management of Public Irrigation Schemes in Nigeria in Enugu State from 18th to 22nd November, 2020.
In his virtual address yesterday, 19th November, at the opening ceremony of the workshop, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, stated that the present administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, is highly committed, not only to increase food production through irrigated agricultur – the sustainability in the operation and management of the Public Irrigation Schemes in the country, but also ensuring greater efficiency and equity in the distribution and use of these resources for the general well-being of all Nigerians.
Engr. Adamu noted that the theme of this Workshop: “Maximizing Output from Irrigation Projects through Effective Facilitation of Water Users Associations” is timely and appropriately chosen to strengthen a number of the ministry’s reforms that are ongoing to address the vicious cycle of tension and mistrust between farmers and governments at all levels.
The Minister went down memory lane to inform the participants that, at inception of this administration in 2015, the Federal Government had accorded water sector, particularly irrigation, a priority status in the socio-economic development of the country in meeting the cardinal programme of the government in areas of poverty reduction, integrated rural development, employment generation, good environmental management and food security.
“Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources is implementing Triming Project on the following schemes: Bakolori Irrigation Scheme in Zamfara State; Middle Rima Irrigation Scheme in Sokoto State; Kano Irrigation Scheme; Hadejia Valley Irrigation Scheme in Jigawa State; and Dadin-Kowa Irrigation Scheme in Gombe State,” he said.
Engr. Adamu expressed confidence that at the end of the workshop, the nation would been able to embrace a new guiding philosophy on how to advance the Irrigation sub sector for sustainable national development.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, who is the convener, pointed out 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 states, local government areas as well as farmers are fully integrated and involved in the adoption and operationalization of WUAs to increase private sector participation and investments in irrigation sub-sector in a bid to enhance competitiveness of irrigated agriculture for national food security.
The Executive Governor of Enugu State, represented by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Honourable Matthew Iduh, stated that, with good irrigation and agricultural development, a good farmer can undertake, at least, two times effective farming within the duration of one year, thanking the Federal Government for holding the workshop in Enugu State.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director of Anambra / Imo River Basin Development Authority, Engr. Gerald Osuagwu, had stated that the Authority saw the workshop as an opportunity and spring board to launch their vision for the rehabilitation and reactivation of Lower Anambra Irrigation Project (LAIP), Omor, Anambra State.
“We are relevant to the farmers only if we are able to provide them the needed extension services that will enhance their productivity, including the provision of adequate water for irrigation,” he noted.
In her remarks, the Acting Director, Department of Irrigation and Drainage of the ministry, Engr. (Mrs.) E.O. Oluniyi, had said that the workshop is a further commitment of Federal Government’s utmost desire to promote sound and self-reliant irrigation implementation through active participation of the private sector, particularly farmers, in order to ensure all-inclusive growth and sustainable national development.
The farmers on irrigation projects who are participating in the regional workshop were drawn from: Adani Irrigation Project, Lower Anambra Irrigation Project, Hadejia Ja’amare Valley Irrigation Project, Kano River Irrigation Project, Middle Rima Valley Irrigation Project, Bakolori Irrigation Scheme and Dadin Kowa Irrigation Project.
- Pix: Permanent Secretary, FMWR, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack (above) and Ag. Director, Dept. of Irrigation and Drainage, FMWR, Engr. Mrs. Ronke Oluiniyi (below), making their respective remarks at the event