The rate of unemployment in the country is set to decline very soon with the current efforts being made by the present administration through the Ministry of Water Resources to create massive jobs of about 500,000 and ensure food security.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said this in a key note address delivered in Abuja to mark this year’s World water day celebration, with the theme: ‘Water and jobs’.
He said that the ministry had embarked on several reforms to achieve this target. The reforms, according to the minister, which cuts across all units of the ministry include: the National Water Policy and National Water Bill, which the ministry has prepared and will soon send to relevant authorities for it to become operational.
He also revealed that the blueprint to strengthen the River Basin Development Authorities is receiving the deserved attention. “The ministry intends to increase irrigable land from 70,000 ha to 500,000 ha in the next 15 years with the entire requisite infrastructure.
It is expected that the effort will yield over 500,000 direct jobs across the nation, while its utilisation for fish production and farming both informal and formal, will yield in excess of one million tons of fish per year with the attendant job creation expected to be about 20,000,”
he said. And against the backdrop of the reported acute shortages of water at different parts of the world, Nigeria is marking this year’s water day in the euphoria of the realisation that its water resources potential has hit 375 billion cubic meters.
Adamu stated that the celebrated vast quantities of these water resources became possible by the huge investments the government had made in water infrastructures development, especially in dams. He raised the hope of the country achieving great economic milestone if these resources are well harnessed.
“It is on record that Nigeria has an estimated water resource of about 375 billion cubic meters.
The vast quantities of this nation’s water resources are held in the small and large Dams that if well utilised, will provide reliable and affordable hydroelectricity, job creation opportunities, food productivity and in turn improve quality of life,” he added.
An expert in the water sector, Dr. J.B.O Adewumi, in paper titled: ‘Potential in the water sector for socioeconomic development’ advised government to understudy the reforms models of the countries that have succeeded in developing their water sector and used same to change the socio-economic lives of its citizenry.
He also harped on interministerial cooperation as key for sustainable reforms in the water sector.
He urged the government to ensure effective management of the dams for the expected results to be achieved.
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