It is a great honour and delight for me to address you today on this occasion of my maiden Familiarization Tour of the Niger Delta River Basin Development Authority (NDRBDA). As you already know, it is home coming for me as an individual but a Working Visit for my Office.I bring you warm greetings from the Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu, FNSE, FNAH, FAEng and the Management and Staff of the Ministry.
- 2. Let me begin by congratulating the Managing Director, MarkDerefaka on his well-deserved appointment in January, 2021 as the Managing Director of the Niger Delta River Basin Development Authority. May I also congratulate all Management and Staff of NDRBDA for their tenacity, doggedness and diligence in these trying times of a global pandemic, insecurity and economic downturn.
3.It is expected that the lingering issues that have bede viled the Authority in the past few years, would be addressed with a view to finding lasting solutions. Indeed, all hands must be on deck to move the Authority forward, and achieve her mandate.
- As you are aware, the River Basin Development Authorities are one of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration’s vehicle to address comprehensive and integrated rural development in Nigeria through agriculture, food security and job creation. In the same vein, the RBDAs are seen as one of the potential Agencies that would assist Mr. President achieve his goal of taking 10 Million Nigerians out of Poverty in 10 years commencing June 12, 2019 when the declaration was made.
- 5. In my view, some of the Programmes that would likely secure quick wins in this regard, are the Graduates/Youths Empowerment Programme (GYEP) and the Songhai Integrated Farming System. With all that I saw during my visit to the Otuoke Songhai Fish Farm and the Sama Integrated Farm yesterday and the obvious potential of the projects, there is no doubt that Management, is of the same view. I urge you therefore, to leverage on these and other projects to attain Mr President’s lofty aspiration.
- 6. As regards your revenue generation, you will recall that based on your Rendition of monthly Returns of Trial Balance – IPSAS Accrual Basic Complaint Trial Balance for month ended 31st March and 30th April, 2021 respectively, majority of the IGR activities for the period under review, recorded a low yield partly due to poor turnout of Agricultural activities. In view of this situation, there is an urgent need for improvement in your revenue generation by aligning with your Strategic Plan which shows that there are multiple potential sources of IGR in the Authority, such as Laboratory Services, Hiring of Plant and Equipment, Rent of Government Property and sales of Farm/Agricultural Produce.
7.At this juncture, let me state categorically that this Familiarization Tour is to enable us familiarize ourselves with your Authority’s Management, personnel and projects, while assessing the level of achievement in line with your mandate and Strategic Plan. We will also try to understand your challenges to enable us assist you overcome them.
- Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion, permit me to express my confidence in your ability to stand out and shine as the foremost RBDA in the Country through the conception and implementation of life-transforming projects and programmes within the limits of available resources. In this regard on behalf of the Honourable Minister, be rest assured of the Ministry’s unflinching support, and my personal commitment to your success.
- Once again, I deeply appreciate the warmth and hospitality my Team and I have received since our arrival on Sunday and we look forward to the completion of what already, appears to be a successful tour.
- Thank you and God bless us all.
Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, mni
Federal Ministry of Water Resources,
Tuesday, 17 August, 2021