The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has pledged the commitment of the Federal Government to complete many abandoned water projects, before the tenure of the present administration ends in 2023.
Adamu, who said this at media parley in Abuja, noted that the government made a strategic decision to concentrate on completing many of the ongoing and abandoned projects it inherited.
It would be recalled that the ministry had inherited over 116 ongoing and abandoned water projects from previous administrations, however a mandate to complete viable projects became necessary.
According to him, the projects, categorised into high, medium and low priority were awarded as far back as 1992 and the early 2000s.
The minster said the abandoned projects include irrigation, dam and sanitation projects, had suffered neglect, hence the introduction of study and design in these sectors.
He said achieving food security, was critical to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying an overall mandate to ending hunger was being pursued.
“Our plan was to complete 25 out of the abandoned projects before 2023, but it is not looking likely because of the economic situation.
“Even at that, we are going to do what we are doing, we are keeping our eyes on the ball to finish as many of those inherited projects as possible, whether it is in dams, irrigation or water supply.
“We have also done study and design of other projects especially in the irrigation sector, because this issue of food security is paramount to this administration’’.
On hydropower, the minister said, government was working directly with investors because they were bankable projects that could pay for themselves, saying designs have been completed for some irrigation projects.
Adamu said the ministry was hopeful that with availability of funds, it would take the 6,600 hectares Donga-Suntai irrigation projects and the 6,000 hectares Nasarawa integrated irrigation project.
He added that a lot of progress had been made with the implementation of the World Bank-sponsored Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria programme, saying this had seen massive transformation of old systems.
He said it was expected that at the end of the project in 2024, Nigeria would have had an additional 40,000 hectares of irrigable land.
On water supply, Adamu said the ministry had revived and commissioned the Zobe Water supply project, restructured Ota Water supply and the Zungeru-Wushishi Water Project.
“ Ota Water supply was started also in early 2000s, Zungeru-Wushishi was started in 1998, we are putting it back on track, and we are hopeful that this project will be completed this year or early 2023’’.
The minster added that the ministry was also supporting the completion of the Ilesha Water supply project in Osun, saying FG’s component was almost 90 per cent completed.