FG Partners Plateau Govt On Food Production, WASH Programmes

By Sunday Etuka, Abuja

The Federal Government has expressed readiness to partner with the Plateau State Government in enhancing food production in the country.

It also expressed commitment to working with the state to enhance the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes by leveraging Dams, Water Supply, Irrigation, and River Basin Resources in alignment with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, made this commitment during a courtesy visit by Plateau State Governor, Barr. Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, and his entourage to the Minister’s office in Abuja on Thursday.

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The Director, Press and Public Relations of the Ministry, Mrs. Funmi Imuetinyan in a statement quoted Prof. Utsev to have expressed gratitude to the Governor for the visit and highlighted key projects of the Ministry, such as the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Campaign, along with interventions like the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation And Hygiene (SURWASH) and Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programmes, as potential areas of collaboration.

He stressed the importance of accelerating the implementation of these Programmes at the sub-national and grassroots levels.

Furthermore, he highlighted how these initiatives directly align with the pillars of Mr. President’s Agenda, emphasizing their significance in achieving the Administration’s vision of Renewed Hope, particularly in fostering food security, poverty eradication, economic growth, job creation, inclusivity, and anti-corruption efforts.

He urged the Governor to align with the Ministry’s programs, emphasizing the Federal Government’s commitment to realizing its campaign to end open defecation by 2025.

As a strategy towards meeting this target, he highlighted the construction of toilets at various schools, markets, and motor parks, as well as engaging in public enlightenment campaigns, as invaluable initiatives.

Coroborating the Honourable Minister’s remarks, the Honourable Minister of State, Rt. Hon. Bello Muhammad Goronyo, Esq, emphasized the need to address issues like insecurity and vandalization of government facilities and maintained that prompt issuance of Title Deeds will add value to irrigable lands, prevent encroachment in the State and ensure food security nationwide.

He commended the Plateau State government for its numerous activities within its communities, aligning with Mr. President’s Agenda on food security.

He also highlighted the opportunities for job creation and wealth enhancement through unlocking of the full potentials of irrigation and industrialization, considering the strategic location of the State.

Rt. Hon. Goronyo called for synergy between the state government and the Organized Private Sector, particularly in Sanitation efforts and also appealed to the Governor to support the Ministry’s campaign to end Open Defecation by 2025 through the provision of Public Toilets.

In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alh. Aliyu Shehu Shinkafi, FCNA, underscored the importance of various ongoing Federal Government projects in Plateau State.

He urged the Governor to collaborate, particularly in areas such as SPIN, ODF, and other Ministry’ projects, emphasizing the crucial role of state governments’ involvement.

Shinkafi appealed to the Governor to spearhead the ODF campaign in the state and also mentioned plans for a high-level advocacy campaign to engage states, including Plateau, on the Ministry programmes.

Technical Directors, like Engr. Ali Dallah, FNSE, Director Dams and Reservoirs, highlighted the progress and importance of projects like the Mangu Dam, emphasizing its role in water supply and irrigation potentials in the State.

Engr. Nicholas Dumebi Madu, Director, Water Supply disclosed the completion and handover of water projects in Wase Area of the State and urged increased involvement in Intervention programmes such as the PEWASH and the SURWASH by the State Government.

Engr. Mrs. Oyeronke Oluniyi, Director Irrigation and Drainage discussed Plateau State’s readiness to participate in projects like the Sustainable Power in Nigeria (SPIN) and emphasized the need to address insurgency-related challenges affecting irrigation schemes.

She highlighted the need for the formation of Water Users Associations and the implementation of Federal Government’s Micro Irrigation Schemes in Plateau State in order to engage youths and women in water management and job creation.

The Director of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate, Engr. Christy Oduh, called for support for farmers and stressed the importance of protecting the Lower Benue River Basin Authority which oversees small dams in the state, against the challenges posed by insecurity in some parts of the State.

In response, His Excellency, Governor Caleb Mutfwang expressed gratitude for the warm reception during his visit to the Ministry.


He acknowledged that the issues raised would indeed enhance the existing programmes in his State and pledged a high level of technical engagement with the Ministry.

The Governor highlighted the State’s improved ability to track vandalized government equipment, prosecute offenders, and deploy technology for surveillance.

He expressed readiness for a scheduled visit to Mangu Dam and mentioned that the State has already expressed interest in participating in the SPIN project. He emphasized the importance of engagement with the Ministry and assured that significant efforts would be dedicated to this collaboration.

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