World Bank supports Nigeria’s irrigation management with $495m

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From: Kazeem Biriowo, Abuja

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Adamu Suleiman on Monday said the World Bank is supporting the implementation of the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria Project (TRIMING) with a credit facility of US$495 million.

The Minister made this known at the valedictory press briefing held in Abuja at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.

Adamu also revealed that the project involves rehabilitation and expansion of about 42,000Ha of irrigation land under the first phase, which will be completed by 2022.

“The TRIMING project will also address rural poverty reduction through progressive management transfer to users’ regulated bodies in the form of Water User Associations (WUAs).”

“The TRIMING concept is to be applied in the future management of irrigation schemes nationwide.”

He used the opportunity to roll out achievements of his administration since 2015. In the area of sanitation, Adamu said considerable effort is on-going for Nigeria to attain Open Defecation Free status by 2025, well ahead of the SDGs target of 2030.

“So far, ten (10) Local Government Areas have fully attained Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, with the celebration of the first LGA to be Open Defecation Free, Obanliku LGA in Cross River State in April 2017″.

“Other Local Government Areas that have since then attained ODF status include: Dass and Warji LGAs (Bauchi State) and Yakur and Bekwara LGAs (Cross River State). There are also thousands of communities nationwide that have achieved ODF status in the last three years.”

He added that, “Plans for aggressive campaign to Clean Nigeria and mobilize the whole Country towards ending open defecation have recently gained high momentum”

On the dam projects, Adamu said “there are about 250 large and medium dams across the country with a storage capacity of about 30 BCM/year.”

“Contracts for 14Nos of the high priority dam projects were reviewed upward to enable their completion after securing FEC approval. 3 of these dams were completed during my tenure”.

“Many more dam projects are progressing satisfactorily and scheduled for completion between 2019 and 2020 as budgetary provisions permit.”

“There is an increase of 1.8BCM of impounded water in our reservoirs since 2015. This brings the total volume of water impounded by the Ministry to 14.7BCM with a corresponding increase of the nation’s surface water resources from 32.7BCM to 34.5BCM to date”. He said.

On hydropower, Adamu gave account that the National Water Resources Masterplan has identified that Nigeria has a Hydro Power potential of 12,220 MW, thus important to pursue vigorously hydro power generation to meet the nation’s needs.

“The concessioning of 30MW Gurara Hydropower plant has attained financial closure and it is planned to come into full operation soon. The process for concession of the 40MW Kashimbilla Hydropower plant, recently completed, has also commenced.

“In addition, we are in discussion with potential investors for other hydropower projects including Gurara II (360MW), Lokoja (750MW) and Makurdi (1000MW), among others,” the minister stated.

Adamu also said unveiled plans to save Lake Chad and other trans-boundary water activities.

He said the Lake Chad environmental challenges have been brought to the attention of the international community by President Muhammadu Buhari in particular, as major causes of the security crisis in the North-Eastern Nigeria.

“The Ministry has championed the signing of MOU between the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and a Chinese company feasibility study on the proposed Inter Basin Water Transfer Project from the Congo Basin into Lake Chad.

“Another MOU has also been signed between LCBC and the Italian Government that has committed 1.5 million Euro towards finalizing the feasibility study on the proposed Interbasin Water Transfer Project.”  He revealed.

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