MINISTERIAL RETREAT FOR TOP MANAGEMENT STAFF OF THE MINISTRY AND AGENCIES
The Hon. Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu FNSE,FAENG has charged the top management of the ministry and its agencies to re-double their efforts towards contributing to the realization of the vision of President Mohammadu Buhari’s promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten (10) years.
Engr. Suleiman Adamu made this demand while declaring open the Management Retreat for Directors, Deputy Directors in the Ministry, Executive Directors of Agencies, and the Managing Directors of the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDA’s) under his Ministry, Thursday, 23rd January 2020 in Ibom Hotel & Golf resort Uyo, Akwa Ibom State – Nigeria.
Engr. Adamu declared that ‘It is therefore imperative that this retreat discusses and proffers feasible contributions and strategies of the Water Sector towards achieving Mr. President’s desire of reducing poverty in Nigeria.’
The Hon. Minister, who went down memory lane, back in 2015 when the last retreat was held to fashion out Water Resources road map 2016 -2030. The road map was configured into immediate and long term strategies for the Water Sector.
According to the Hon. Minister, outcome of the 2015 retreat as approved by President Mohammadu Buhari in June 2016 sharpened and guided most of its Ministry’s activities in his first tenure in Office. Adding that 2015 retreat was aimed at strengthening the weakness in the delivery of the Ministry’s mandate and to develop a “Road Map” that will enable sustainable positive impact in the Water Sector within a short period, based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) frame work.
The road map includes, among others – conclusion of Draft National Water Policy, National Irrigation and Drainage Policy and National Water Policy Bills; Organizational and Manpower Review of the Ministry towards repositioning it for enhanced service delivery; Identification of Dams with Hydro Power potential for Development; Developing and implementation of a National Irrigation Development Programme; and Developing and implementing a National Water Supply and Sanitation programme to attain the SDGs to mention but a few.
In addition, Engr. Adamu stated that pursuant to the Road map, the Ministry was able to record some achievements within the available resources, such as approvals through the Federal Executive Council of National Water Resources Bill, National Water Resources Policy and National Irrigation and Drainage Policy.
Pursuant to the Roadmap, also two Departments were restructured which are now known as Department of River Basin Operations Inspectorate, headed by a Director with Water Resources Management Background; and Department of Planning Research and Statistics, which is known as Department of Water Resources Planning and Technical Support Services (WRPTSS) which is headed by a Director with Engineering background.
In addition, he said he undertook technical audit of the inherited 116 major uncompleted and abandoned projects for prioritization and completion, where it was discovered that – Irrigation and Drainage has 38, Dams has 37, and Water Supply has 41 uncompleted projects.
However, substantial resources were deployed towards their completion and commissioning. So far the Ministry has completed and commissioned 13 Water supply Projects, 9 nos other Dams and 10 Water supply projects which were initiated and completed, and are ready for commissioning. Many Irrigation Projects are billed to be completed between now and 2021.
Furthermore, in order to aid diversification of the economy guarantee Food Security and create employments, the Ministry has initiated National Irrigation Development Programme which is aimed at establishing 100,000 hectares of irrigated farm land by the year 2020 and 500,000 hectares by 2030. Adding that there is planned additional 1,000,000 hectares of irrigable land to be developed by the Private Sector and state Governments within the same period.
The Hon. Minister also challenged the top management of his ministry, heads of agencies and Parastatals under his ministry, stressing his desire to accomplish the following priority deliverables within 2019 – 2023 which include – Complete all priority ongoing Dams and irrigation projects, finalize and implement the flood management master plan for River Niger and River Benue, Aggressively implement the Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme and achieve Open Defecation-free Nigeria by 2025, Actively Collaborate with Private Sector to create a large number of well – paying jobs for Nigerian Youths and Support the implementation of Water Management and Water Settlement Projects in the National Livestock Transportation Plan (NLTP).
The retreat is expected to end on Saturday, January 25, 2020.