Sulieman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, has called for synergy between Department of Irrigation and Drainage and River Basin Operations to boost agriculture in the country.
Adamu made the call at a two-day Retreat for the Staff of Irrigation and Drainage in the ministry held in Abuja with the theme: “Sustaining Irrigation Through Capacity Building.”
“If Nigeria is serious about food security, we have to be cultivating all year round and it must be all year agriculture.
“Therefore, we must take a lot of interest in irrigation and with sole respect to River Basin Operations.
“Mr President has given us a task and he has committed himself to initiating a programme that will take 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
“He has charged us to do whatever is possible to create opportunities for wealth creation and for jobs for our younger people and half of the populations of Nigeria are under the age of 30.
“This is dangerous for us, if we cannot create the right economy, ways and means for people to find new jobs; we are going to be in trouble and agriculture has the biggest capacity to employ.
“And irrigation happens to be a key element of that, so you need to understand the importance of your departments within the context of Nigerian’s development efforts,” he said.
The minister also noted that the synergy between the departments such as Irrigation and Drainage and River Basin Operations, Water Supply, dams, among others are critical element for the sustainable development of the sector.
Adamu however advised them to equip themselves with the recent National Drainage Irrigation policy projected for 2015 to 2030 and approved by Federal Executive Council in Sept, 2016.
He also urged them to ensure proper planning in order to avoid abandon projects.
“You must not hurry to go to site without doing the necessary planning required as that will ensure the project is sustained and achieve its objectives, so you must do the right thing.
“I also want to advise you to use appropriate technology, do not be carried away with what international marketers are bringing.
“Ensure to get the appropriate technology for the Nigerian locality, you must think how it will fit in into our environment,” he added.
Comfort Ekaro, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources said the retreat was organised to ensure to the department keyed into the wealth creation agenda of Mr President.
“This department is very important if we have to achieve food security in this country. You must be on top of your game if through irrigation, for us have food in this country all year round,” she said.