By Georgina Humphrey
Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation has called on State Governments and investors to increase direct investments in irrigation infrastructure development across the country to boost food production and ensure economic growth
The Minister, Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev made the call during a tour of the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority and commissioning of the Rafin Yashi Dam and irrigation scheme in Minna, Niger State.
Prof Utsev who reaffirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians, revive the economy and boost food production stressed that once the mandate on food production has been achieved, job creation and security will be improved while better life will be assured for all Nigerians.
The Minister urged other River Basin Development Authorities in the country to emulate the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority in the promotion of Agro-and- Eco Tourism potential of their Dams to boost socio-economic activities in the country and enhance the partial commercialization initiative of the Federal Government.
He reiterated the commitment of the Tinubu Administration to the on going partial commercialization of Dams and other key projects of the River Basin Development Authorities across the country.
The minister urged States and Private investors to synergize with the River Basin Authorities to utilize their full potential.
He added that the Ministry would provide the bulk water and expertise that will ensure that they meet the target for local food consumption and export.
“We have the Dams, the water and the expertise, we encourage State governments and investors to collaborate with us to meet the target of expanding irrigation development, food production and harness the economic potential of the River Basins” he added.
On his part, the Managing Director of the Upper Niger River Basin Authority, Prof. Abdulkarim Ali explained that the Rafin Yashi Dam is a unique concept with high capacity dual Concrete Reservoirs that provides water for both Rafin Yashi irrigation scheme and the Songhai integrated farm.
He stated that other components of the project include the Agro/Eco Tourism facilities such as an event centre, children’s park, guests chalets, hiking facilities, canopy walkways and other attractions for recreational purposes.
Edited By Georgina Humphrey
Written by: Safiya Wada