THE Federal Government (FG) has leased out 50,000 hectares of the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to commercial farmers to boost agricultural production.

It said the decision became imperative because most of the RBDAs land is underutilised.

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu made the disclosure during a briefing in Abuja at the weekend.

He stated that the FG has revitalised the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to boost agricultural production through all year farming, ensure food security, create jobs and achieve integrated rural development.

According to him: “ The River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) have been revitalised to deliver its mandate to boost agricultural production through all year farming, ensure food security, create jobs and achieve integrated rural development.

“For the most underutilised land in the river basins, we have invited commercial farmers to take them over; now we have leased over 50,000 hectares of RBDA land all over the country to them.”

While enumerating his achievements in office the Minister said in pursuant of the sectorial roadmap, the National Water Resources bill which is presently at the National Assembly, when passed into law will provide greater farmers participation in irrigation farming.

He explained that the bill will avail farmers more access to irrigation management, provide a regulatory framework for private sector participation in water supply delivery, and partnership on urban Water scheme, in the area of operation and maintenance.

He noted that the bill will also promote equitable and affordable access to water and by extension reduce poverty.

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The minister noted that “The National WASH Action Plan has the primary objective of ensuring that everyone living in Nigeria has access to Sustainable and safety managed WASH services by 2030, in compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for water (Goal 6.1) and Sanitation (Goal 6.2).”

He said the implementation of the National Wash Action Plan will also reinforce the vision of the Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) initiative launched in November 2016 and has so far been endorsed by twenty state Governments.

Among the achievements highlighted by Adamu included the completion of about seventeen abandoned water supply, dam irrigation projects located all over the country and planned completion of many more projects.

According to him, “We are now deploying most of our resources towards completing and commissioning all high and medium priority projects,” He noted.

Tribune

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