Irrigation and Drainage

Irrigation and Drainage as well as effective and sustainable irrigation practices are therefore viewed as the only viable intervention option that will ensure national food security and poverty alleviation through job creation and greater income generation as well as curtail rural-urban migration. It is also accepted as a key response to addressing the problems of thinning rural economy as well as coping with domestic and regional demand for food and fibre. The need to achieve these objectives necessitates the establishment of the Federal Department of Irrigation and Drainage (FDID).


Irrigation and Drainage Department is established as one of the technical departments of the Ministry of Water Resources, saddled with the responsibility of implementing irrigation and drainage programmes and policies of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Specific functions of the department include but are not limited to the following:

  • Provision of technical support and guidance for the formulation, periodic review and implementation of National Policy regarding the planning, development, operation and maintenance of irrigation and drainage projects, consistent with the National Water Resources and Agricultural policies of Nigeria;
  • Carrying out studies on the scope and extent of irrigation and provision of a well articulated and comprehensive master plan for irrigation development in Nigeria;
  • Provision of necessary initiatives, guidance and support of plans and programs of the River Basin and Rural Development Authorities (RBDAs) for irrigated agriculture, as well as supervision, monitoring and effective coordination of such plans and programmes;
  • Provision of necessary initiatives and resources for drawing up a code of practice for irrigation and drainage in Nigeria;
  • Provision of technical support and guidance for formulation, periodic review and implementation of national policies regarding land tenure and compensation for irrigation development in Nigeria;
  • Liaising with and participation in the activities of national, regional and international water resources organisations on all matters relating to irrigation and drainage.
  • Attracting private sector participation in the infrastructural development for expanding the horizon food and fibre production;
  • Effective and efficient management of water use for the purpose of future sustainability.

key Functions

  • Towards translating the functions of the department into concrete actions the following broad programmes are being undertaken;
  • Institutional strengthening of irrigation agencies and farmer’s groups.
  • Downstream development of irrigation and drainage facilities;
  • Technical support for planning and design activities of the RBDAs to ensure technical appropriateness, economic viability and assist with sourcing of funds for their implementation;
  • Provision of support services and establishment of sustainable operation, maintenance and management guidelines that is based on appropriate government policies.
  • Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the Irrigation and Drainage systems to provide needed data to ensure sustainable management of irrigation and drainage development in Nigeria.     


In order to facilitate effective management, the Department is structured into five distinct divisions with well articulated and clearly defined functions. These Divisions are in turn divided in to a number of sections to maintain efficient administration down-the-line.

  • Social and Environmental Services (SES) Division
  • Irrigation Planning and Management (IPM) Division
  • Drainage and Flood Control (DFC) Division
  • Irrigation Management (IRM) Division
  • Irrigation Engineering Services (IES) Division

 Institutional Collaboration

World Bank Assisted Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) Project

  • Towards achieving the goals of the National Agricultural Investment Plan (NAIP), the Federal Government of Nigeria applied for financing from the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD) for the sum of USD 350 Million IDA Credit as well as AFD Credit of USD 100 Million for initial intervention in the Nigeria Irrigation and Water Resources Management Project (NIWRMP).
  • The strategic thrust of the TRIMING project is to achieve the rehabilitation and expansion of deteriorated or uncompleted irrigation and dam infrastructures on a viable and sustainable footing. This is expected to make considerable contribution to the agricultural production, employment generation, rural poverty reduction, improved access to irrigation and drainage services, and to strengthen institutional arrangements for integrated water resources management.
  • The Project has three (3) components as follows

(i).        Irrigation Development and Management;

(ii).       Water Resources Management and Dam Operations Improvement; and

(iii).      Project Management and Monitoring and Evaluation.

  • The World Bank Board of Directors approved the IDA credit of US$495.30 million for the TRIMING Project on the 19th June, 2014. The project implementation is to last for a period of seven (7) years.
  • The contribution of Nigerian Government in the form of counterpart fund is US$44.00 million or 8.88% of the IDA credit. The Federal Executive Council has approved the loan.
  • It is expected that the intervention when completed will add over 52,000 hectares of land to the existing irrigation area, while at the same time reducing the hazard potential of existing dams.
  • In addition, about 625,000 jobs would be created while 520,000 additional tons of rice and other cereals shall be produced through these investments annually.

The potential hazards related to safety issues on 6 large existing dams that have been constructed over several decades will be addressed through comprehensive studies and rehabilitation.

Collaboration with Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Aiming to put in place an appropriate instrument with complementary implementation strategy to facilitate and promote private sector investment in the irrigation sub-sector, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) in February 2013 made a request to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) for technical and financial assistance in the preparation of an Irrigation Policy and Strategy.  The Policy has now been finalized and presented to the general public.

Implementation of the policy document is intended to improve irrigation and drainage development and management in Nigeria in order to achieve the broad objectives of food and raw materials security,  increased employment, wealth creation and poverty alleviation, and greater contribution to GDP, foreign exchange reserve and government revenue.

Collaboration with Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD)

The Ministry through the Department of irrigation and Drainage is in collaboration with the FMARD in the development and utilization of water resources infrastructure for agricultural development to enhance food security and wealth creation.  From the water resources point of view, it was concluded that 20 Irrigation Projects, 18 Large and Medium Dams Projects and 20 MDG Small Earth Dam Projects, would suffice to jumpstart the collaborative efforts.  The Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development (FMA&RD) also identified areas of intervention with respect to facilitation of the provision of personnel in Extension work in Agriculture, Tractors and other Farm Implements, Fertilizers, Herbicides, Pesticides, Insecticides, etc.  The work plan for the implementation of the obligations of the MOU has been prepared.


 1.Rehabilitation of Lower Anambra Irrigation Project (LAIP)

  • LAIP is located at Omor in the Anyamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State.
  • The project which consists of 3,850ha developed for double cropping of rice annually was commissioned in 1987.
  • Over the years, the project facilities have deteriorated due to age and lack of adequate maintenance. This resulted in the drastic reduction in both the area under cultivation and average yield per hectare. Hence, the Federal government decided to rehabilitate the schemes in order to bring it to its original production capacity.
  • Intervention by ATASP towards completion of the project.
  • On-going.

 2. Middle Ogun Irrigation Project 

  • The Middle Ogun Irrigation Project is intended to develop 12,000 ha of land under irrigation in 4 equal phases on the left and right banks of River Ogun at Odo-Ogun along Oyo-Iseyin road, about 10 km from Iseyin in Oyo State.
  • On-going.

 3. Middle Rima Valley Irrigation Project (Falalia Sector) Phase I

  • The Middle Rima Valley Irrigation Project Phase II (MRVIP II) is part of a development plan for the fertile lands of Rima River which is a tributary of River Niger.
  • The development plan was conceived to irrigate a net area of 5,065 hectares downstream of Goronyo Dam utilizing water from Goronyo reservoir.
  • The left bank sector (Phase I), which is also called Falalia sector was successfully completed and commissioned in November, 2005 and is already fully operational.
  • All the works under the Stage I of the Phase II contract have been completed and handed over to the client. The irrigation area covered under the Stage I (Takakume sector 1) is already in use for the cultivation of rice and other crops by farmers with encouraging yields.
  • Work is concentrated on the execution of Sector 2 –Maiyali.
  • On-going

4. Completion of Kano River Irrigation Project (KRIP) – Phase I

  • Kano River Irrigation Project I (KRIP I) is located about 35km southwest of Kano city, and was designed to irrigate 22,000ha (gross) out of which 15,000ha (gross) were developed by 1984 which is being operated since then.
  • The TRIMING Project has intervened to rehabilitate the entire project.

5. Rehabilitation of Adarice Irrigation Project

  • The Adarice Project covering an area of over 5000 hectares was first established in 1962 as a farm settlement scheme in the present day Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area (LGA) of Enugu State by the defunct government of Eastern Nigeria through a financial aid provided by USAID.
  • As a result of the deterioration state of the project, there was the compelling need to initiate a deliberate and pragmatic measure to completely rehabilitate the irrigation scheme in order to achieve the desired objective of boosting the agricultural and other socio-economic activities of the area.
  • On-going

6. Hadejia Valley Irrigation Project (HVIP) Phase 1 Stage 1

  • Hadejia Valley Irrigation project lies in the Auyo and Kafin Hausa Local Government Areas of Jigawa State between the Hadejia River and its branch, the Kafin Hausa River around the Fadama town of Auyo.
  • The contract is for development of Hadejia Valley irrigation Phase I Stage I covering 6,175 ha.
  • The TRIMING Project intervened to rehabilitate the project.

7. Construction of Bagwai Irrigation Project

  • The Bagwai (Watari Dam) Irrigation Project is located about 65 km South West of Kano City in Bagwai Local Government Area in the North Western of part of Kano State.
  • The execution of the project which was in phases was initiated by Kano State Government during the accelerated wheat production programme in 1988. During this period, Sectors 1-4 of the eight sectors comprising the project were completed. The project derives water from Watari Dam of 05 MCM capacity.
  • The project is being Revised towards completion

8. Zauro Polder Project

  • The 10,500ha project is located within the fadama area of the Rima River, stretching from Birnin Kebbi to Argungu in Kebbi State.
  • The project is jointly funded by the Federal and the Kebbi State Governments on a 70% and 30% ratio, accounting for N13,010,164,508.97 and N5,575,784,789.56 contributions respectively.
  • To be reviewed

9. Lower Ogun Irrigation Project

  • The project is located in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State. The scheme is planned for the development of 12,000 ha with implementation in four equal phases.
  • The project is being repackaged to enable upgrade of system to Center Pivot System (CPS) and renewable energy.
  • Study and Design completed .

10. Shagari Irrigation Project

  • The Shagari Irrigation Project is situated in Shagari Local Government Area of Sokoto State. The project will utilize raw water from the completed Shagari Dam for irrigation of about 220 hectares of farm land thereby increasing farming activities, alleviating poverty and improving the living standard of the communities in the area.

11. Center Pivot Irrigation Project

  • The Federal Executive Council in its seating on the 17th June, 2009, approved the award of Contract for the Procurement and Installation of Centre Pivot Irrigation Systems in various locations to Messrs Waste Management and Environmental Solutions Ltd(WMES).
  • The Project is designed to irrigate 54 units of sprinkler system of 60 hectares each adding to a total of 3,240 hectare of farm land. The Project covers Kebbi, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Bauchi, Taraba, Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi and Cross River States, and will provide employment for over 7,000 farming families and will enhance the food security for the nation.
  • Nearly Completed.

12. Zobe Irrigation & Drainage Project

  • The Zobe Irrigation is located downstream of the existing Zobe Dam in Dutsin ma local Government Area of Katsina State.
  • To be revised for completion .

13. Chouchi Irrigation Project.

  • The Choughi Irrigation Project is one of the projects handed over to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources by the defunct Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF). It is located within the flood plains of River Benue between Jimeta and Yola in Adamawa State and designed to irrigate 1,200ha of land as well as provide for livestock and fisheries development.
  • Project to be Revised towards completion.

14. Completion of Sabke Irrigation & Drainage Project

  • Sabke Irrigation Project located in Mai’Aduwa Local Government Area of Katsina State is one of the projects transferred to the Ministry for completion from the defunct Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund (PTF) in 1999.
  • Completed and handed over to Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority.

15. Gari Irrigation Project

  • Gari Irrigation Project is situated along the Gari River and around Kazaure town of Jigawa State and Dambata town of Kano State, and was awarded by the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) .
  • It was intended to complete irrigation facilities for a gross area of 2113 ha of land by gravity.
  • The project was transferred to the FMWR following the dissolution of the PTF on 30th June, 1999. However, all site activities on the project were suspended by the Contractor in November 2000 owing to cash flow problem.
  • Project On-going.
  • Sectors 1-6 completed

National Inventory and Production of a National Compendium of Irrigation Projects

With the intention of the present government to diversify the Nigerian economy away from oil to agriculture through all year round cropping, the need arose to intensify efforts towards irrigated agriculture for increased production not only for local consumption, but towards generating foreign earnings. Over the years, successive governments have embarked on development and management of irrigated agriculture to boost food production. In order to attain meaningful and strategic progress in the next coming years on irrigation development, a data base is being articulated to generate information for further planning for sustainable achievement. Consequently, inventory of all existing projects nationwide as a tool to obtaining a baseline data for planning and management has being carried out and launched, to provide first hand information on all irrigation projects in the country.

National Irrigation Compendium Produced and Launched.

Jibiya Irrigation Project

  • The Jibiya Irrigation Project is located in Jibiya Local Government Area of Katsina State.
  • The Study and Design Review of the project is nearly completed

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Nigerian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (NINCID)

The Department hosts the Secretariat of Nigerian National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (NINCID), an affiliate of the International Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) with headquaters in New Delhi, India.  This provision avails our Engineers the opportunity of being abreast with modern practices in irrigation, drainage and flood control as well as platform to share ideas with professional counterparts, local and foreign.

Nigeria have been granted the hosting right to host the 6th African Regional conference in year 2025 at the 73rd Meeting of International Executive Council (IEC) of ICID recently held in Australia following the successful presentation to the Permanent Committee of IEC on Finance, African Regional Working Group, Committee on Congresses and Conferences.