Food Security: FG Introduces Flagship Programmes, Targets 10m Jobs

R-L: The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi Shehu, FCNA, Director, Water Resources Planning and Technical support Services, Engr. Adenopo, the Representative of the World Bank and the DG, NWRI Prof. Emmanuel Adanu.

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, has announced the introduction of Three (3) flagship programmes to achieve food security in the country.

Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Alh. Shehu Shinkafi Aliyu made this announcement at the Opening of the 30th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation on Monday, February 12, 2024, in Abuja.

He announced the programmes to include Water for Expanded Irrigated Agriculture Programme (WEIRPRO), Partnership for Expanded Irrigation Programme (PEIRPRO), and River Basin Strategy for Poverty Alleviation (RB-SPA).

According to him, the programmes were in resolve to align with the State of Emergency on Food Security Declaration and the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration.

Shinkafi enthused that the effective implementation of the programmes would create up to ten (10) million jobs for the nation’s teeming youths within the agricultural value chain.

“The implementation of the above-named programmes has lock-started with the launch of the dry season farming covering a total of 120,000 hectares of land in Jigawa State on November 2023 by the Federal Government in collaboration with Jigawa State under Navonal Wheat Development Programme.

“In view of the foregoing, some RBDAs have already leveraged the current intervention to launch dry season farming within the catchment areas. The remaining RSDAS which are yet to do so, are encouraged to follow suit.

“The expected outcome from the various interventions is to create 5 to 10 million jobs for our teeming youths within the agricultural value chain”, he said.

In setting the agenda for the experts’ meeting, the Permanent Secretary noted the need to focus on water governance and its role towards the promotion of National Food Security.

“We should also deliberate and fashion mechanism by which the three (3) tiers of government as well as the private sector can utilise the impounded water in our dams and reservoirs for irrigation activities.

“In addition, we should examine the possibility of adapting the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) project model in all Public Irrigation Schemes across the country”, he added.

He expressed confidence that with the array of experts at the meeting, quality, and thoughtful memoranda will be generated for the Council’s consideration.

“The six (6) standing Technical Sub-Committees namely: Human Resources and Funding of Water Sector Research, Hydrology, Climate Change, and Flood Management, irrigation and Drainage, Integrated Water Resources and River Basin Management, Reservoir, and Hydropower Development as well as Water Supply, Quality Control, and Sanitation are already in place to guide you on this enormous task”, he said.

Shinkafi, however, drew the attention of the States and River Basin Development Authorities to the limited memoranda coming from them to the National Technical Committee even though, most of their activities are at the grassroots levels.

He, therefore, encouraged them to look at their peculiarities and come up with relevant memoranda to address the subject under consideration.

Declaring the meeting open, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barr. Nyesom Wike said, his administration’s commitment to water sanitation remains strong and irrevocable.

Barr. Wike who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, FCT, Mr. Udoh Samuel Attang said, “the promotion of water infrastructure stands tall in the list of our priorities, knowing fully well that water is life, and Abuja, our capital city, is a growing city.

“It is in this spirit of collaboration and a meaningful agenda of this administration that I beseech all of us to sow the seed of change to improve our water governance, bearing in mind that each job conserved and each policy enacted contributes to the health and well-being of our national food security”, he said.

Group Photograph to mark the end of the opening session.

Also speaking, the Representative of the World Bank and the Director General of the National Water Resources Institute
(NWRI), Prof. Emmanuel Adanu stressed the need for collaboration with the states and relevant government agencies to speedily achieve the food security target of the Federal Government.

Other Development Partners at the event are the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), African Development Bank (AfDB), and international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

 

 

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