Minister decries abandoned water, irrigation projects

Lower Anambra Irrigation project. PHOTO: Hydroworks Limited

The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, on Friday expressed concern over some abandoned water and irrigation projects in Anambra.

The minister, in a statement issued in Abuja after his inspection tour of the Lower Anambra Irrigation project, said that the level of uncompleted works at the project sites was shocking.

He, however, conveyed the commitment of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources toward rehabilitating some of the high-profile projects that would be beneficial to the adjoining communities.

Adamu said that the Federal Government would also ensure the revival of River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) so as to enable them to boost agricultural production in the country.

He said that the revitalisation of RBDAs would also strengthen efforts to create opportunities for employment generation, adding that it was saddening that the river basins authorities had not met their expectations.

“If they are intended to uplift the people’s standard of living, provide employment and boost the economy; then, all ongoing projects must be completed, and fast too.”

Adamu said that the Federal Government had started work on the Adada River Dam project which had about 1.4 million cubic meters of water capacity.

He said that the dam was expected to supply the Nsukka community and its environs with water for drinking and other domestic uses.

The minister also inspected the general layout of the Ada Rice Irrigation Project in Adani, which had been abandoned over 46 years ago, following the Nigerian Civil War.

The project involves about 1,500 hectares of irrigable land which has been under-utilised for many years.
Adamu, however, pledged that the project would be revived in order to encourage dry-season farming, which could accommodate the cultivation of no fewer than two crops per season.

He said that this was in line with the Federal Government’s blueprint and action plan on how to restructure the operations RBDAs in the country.

He reiterated the Federal Government’s determination to resuscitate the abandoned projects but advised all stakeholders to support government’s efforts by protecting the facilities in their domains.

At the Ivo River Irrigation Project sited on the boundary between Enugu and Ebonyi States, the minister expressed dismay over its poor planning process which had made the project to become a nuisance to its host community.

He later held some discussions with some community leaders and other key stakeholders, including the Managing Director of the Anambra/Imo River Basin Development Authority.



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