River Basin Operations & Inspectorate Department


The Department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate (RBOI) as a Technical Department was created in August, 2010 and backed by Circular No. OHCSF/MSO/317/VOLI/193 dated 10th July, 2012 to reposition the River Basin Development Authorities for effectiveness and efficiency. Justification for RBOI creation was to coordinate the activities of the RBDAs that were hitherto scattered in the various Departments of the Ministry and give the RBDAs’ operations better sectorial policy direction and priority focus.

RBOI has hitherto concluded arrangements to review and update the operational guidelines and Inspectorate Manuals for the RBDAs to enable them perform at their optimum capacity to conform to the present administration initiative on transforming communities in Nigeria into viable agro-based economies.

The mandate therefore is to bring all the operations of the RBDAs to a close monitoring with a view to determining and consolidating their gains as they affect development, utilization and management of water resources for various socio-economic sectors; examine long- term impact of the RBDAS projects on the rural economies; the state of the nation’s food security and food production and the implications of these activities on the political, socio-economic life of rural Nigeria.

The Department also carries out the inspectorate functions of these RBDAs and coordinate the numerous inspectorate visits by multi- stakeholders such as the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Assembly (NASS) oversight functions of constituency projects, Budget Office, Federal Ministry of Finance, the Auditor General Office, the Accountant General Office, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Office, among others.


The Department of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate is headed by the Director, assisted by three (3) Deputy Directors who are in charge of the following Divisions:

    1. Operation;
    2. Inspectorate; and
    3. Special Duties

FUNCTIONS: The major functions of the Department are as follows:

    1. Harmonize RBDAs’ Budget Proposals, Programmes and Projects Implementation, Procurement Processes, Appointments, Promotion and Discipline in conformity with the National Policy and Guidelines and alongside relevant Departments of the Ministry;
    2. Advise the Honourable Minister and the Permanent Secretary on issues of Board appointments, functions and limit of their powers;
    3. Recommend to the Honourable Minister and Permanent Secretary on the appointments of Managing Directors and Executive Directors of RBDAs and their tenure;
    4. Carry out oversight functions with the NASS members on the appropriation, location and the implementation of constituency projects within the RBDAs;
    5. Coordinate and monitor the performance, valuation, monitoring, auditing of projects and programmes of RBDAs to keep them on track and accountable to the Honourable Minister;
    6. Keep a database of projects and programmes of RBDAs;
    7. Provide Secretariat for coordination of activities of the forum of Managing Directors of RBDAs:
    8. Coordinate, guide and advise the RBDAs on Internal Revenue Generation Initiatives.
    9. Initiate, coordinate and implement cross-cutting programmes and projects that can collectively involve and benefit more than one RBDAs; amd
    10. Carrv out all Inspectorate and Monitoring functions of the RBDAs.

PROJECTS: The Department Participates in three World Bank – Assisted Projects:

    1. Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management (NEWMAP) – HydroMet System sub-component establishment of HydroMet System Network at two (2) RBDAs namely Anambra – Imo River Basin Development Authority (AIRBDA) and Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA);
    2. NEWMAP – Climate Change Response – Building the Resilience and Coping capacity of the River Benue System riparian communities against flooding; and
    3. Provide technical direction and advisory role in Change Management Committee (CMC) for Inter-Ministerial Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) Project.

Highlights of the achievements recorded by the Department:

    1. Coordinated the oversight visits of the National Assembly (NASS) members on constituency projects in the RBDAs;
    2. Capacity building: trained officers in Water Resources Management and Isotope Hydrology courses in India and Ethiopia. Twenty Four (24) RBDAs Management staff embarked on Study Tour to UK on Integrated Water Resources Management;
    3. Harmonized the 12 RBDAs Budget proposals, procurement processes and defense of the National Assembly and Budget in the Ministry
    4. Initiated processes for the preparation of Operational and Inspectorate Manuals for the RBDAs;
    5. Successfully supervised Recruitment, Promotion and Discipline in some of the RBDAs
    6. Filled the vacancies of Managing Directors and Executive Directors in several River Basin Development Authorities  (RBDAs) in line with the Ministry’s succession planning template;
    7. Organized and coordinated Flag-off of Dry Season Farming and Young Graduate Farmers Scheme in the RBDAs;
    8. Successfully carried out partial concession of Bakolori Irrigation Project Scheme to Kare Hi-Tech Engineering Limited, UMZA and Dangote Ltd, Dominion Farms on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis;
    9. Attract Development Partners and Donor Agencies to strengthen water resources development through irrigation, rehabilitation of dam and reservoirs and energy having various components viz: World Bank assisted – Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) – to improve and empower local investigation and establishment of pilot projects sites – beneficiaries -Sokoto – Rima (Bakolori, Goronyo and Zobe Dams and Irrigation schemes), Hadejia Ja-amare (Tiga Dam and Irrigation, Kano River Irrigation Project-KRIP) and Upper Benue (Dadinkowa darn and Irrigation)


    1. RBDAs have been the drivers of Government policies on water resources, disaster risk deduction and energy;
    2. Develop and manage surface water and groundwater water supply for accelerated food production and food security in the rural communities in terms of dams and irrigation transformation;
    3. Each RBDA providing jobs for over 200 families, creating 231 direct employment and over 600 indirect employment;
    4. Grow crops ranging from rice, maize, yam, cassava, groundnut, okra, garden egg, watermelon, fluted pumpkin, cucumber, among others;
    5. Touched many lives through Constituency projects sponsored by the National Assembly members thereby bringing the desired impact of Lawmakers on their constituents;


Constraint of infrastructural development (dams, irrigation and land development): Need to review the Land Tenure system, which is interfering with the RBDAs’ projected large-scale irrigation scheme. For now, only Chad and Sokoto-Rima Basins have established large irrigations. Both Sections 4 & 5 of Decree 1980 on Land Acquisition (Land Reform Act) need review.


    • That Federal Government- States – Local Governments-Communities relationship be defined. FGN be in control of dams, private investors handle the irrigation structure and States as land developers and owners;
    • That Government policy on PPP be emphasized between the FGN, States, LGAs without prejudice to States participation in PPP if they so wish; and
    • Encourage the local communities as ‘Out-growers’ for a particular crop which should be sold at a price to be determined by all stakeholders and that raw materials (seedling) be ceded to the communities. That FGN or State can bring private investors if so desired.


    • That special intervention fund be created for the RBOI and RBDAs to play their expected roles in the water resources sector development and management;
    • That special attention be paid to operation and maintenance of water resources infrastructures;
    • That rehabilitation of aging infrastructure, full optimization of completed infrastructure be carried out and completion of downstream infrastructure of completed dam.


The Department has a total number of Twenty (20) staff in all


Outcomes and Outputs generated from the Department programmes and projects on result-based management basis and in line with the Ministry priority areas of intervention are as follows:

Projects Status

S/N Project or Programme Title Detail Project Description Percentage Level of completion as at Dec. 2015 Specific Achievements in 2015 Remarks
i. Consultancy Services for Infrastructure Optimization Studies of RBDAs Infrastructures Most River Basin Water Resources          Infrastructures especially        the        dams’ appurtenances       are       not operating at maximum capacity. Preliminary study of Upper Niger and Lower Niger RBDAs as pilot projects are on-going. 5% Improved water resources, energy, food, security and environmental management On-going
ii. Consultancy Services for the Internal Revenue Generation Potentials of RBDAs The study is intended to develop a template for Internal Revenue Generation in the RBDAs and identify   for each RBDA its internal revenue potential and strategy to exploit them to the fullest. Already draft terms of reference for the studies has been developed. 5% Provision of enabling environment for the RBDAs not to depend solely on statutory line allocations. On-going