By Bashir Bello, KANO
The Federal Government has disclosed its intentions to commence implementation of the Treasury Single Account, TSA system for irrigation service charge for the operation and maintenance for water User Association of Irrigation Schemes Under Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria, TRIMING Project by by July 1st this year.
The Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu disclosed this during a stakeholders consultative meeting held in Kano towards smooth implementation of the TSA system.
Adamu represented by his Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Emmanuel Awe said efforts were on to roll out the process in accordance with the guidelines from the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to ensure compliance to the system.
He also dropped hint on the paradigm shift by the government to hands off either operation, maintenance or management of Irrigation Schemes.
According to him, “it is in this regard that I communicated to the managing directors of the affected River Basin Development Authorities, RBDAs, Government’s intention to commence by July 1st, 2021 the implementation of the TSA system for the irrigation service charge for the operation and maintenance of the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria, TRIMING Project irrigation schemes which will be domiciled at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“This means that Government will no longer be involved, either for operation, maintenance or management of irrigation and drainage facilities at any of the schemes the TRIMING project is currently working on.
“Before now, it use to be government funding everything. Government provide land, water, cultivate, the farmers just plant their products and harvest and that’s all. And then, they wait again for government to put in resources next year. This time around, the farmers are being empowered so that they own it fully.
“As part of the transformation effort of, the ministry through the TRIMING project, farmers and farmer associations including River Basin Development Authorities personnel, were trained under the Technical Assistance, TA component of the project on effective operation and maintenance of irrigation systems as well as on modern agricultural best practices.
“The TA was carefully designed to promote participatory irrigation management by empowering farming communities around the TRIMING project irrigation schemes to assume responsibility for ownership of the irrigation and drainage system around their farm plots, including the financial and administrative accountability thereof.
“Needless to remind you that the TRIMING project is a pilot program, with the plan to scale up to other River Basin Development Authorities in due course. The successful outcome of this pilot will guide the future roll out and the decision of Government on the transfer of irrigation systems management from Government ownership and control to farmers management system,” Adamu stated.
In his remarks, the National Project Coordinator, Triming Project, Engineer Peter Yakubu Manjuk said the project was the first attempt for Transforming public Irrigation Schemes in Nigeria aimed at boosting food production.
He said the World Bank was Supporting Nigeria in transferring the ownership and the management of farming to the farmers geared towards guaranteeing sustainability.
“We have huge potentials in Nigeria for irrigated agriculture but we have only tapped a little out of it. If we can expand it we can guarantee employment generarion for our teeming youths and food sufficiency and Sustainability,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director, Hadejia Jam’are River Basin Development Authority, Alhaji Ma’amun Da’u Aliyu said the trimming project is taking place in three river basins in Nigeria which include Hadejia Jam’are, Upper Benue and Sokoto Rima basic Authorities.
Aliyu however expressed optimism that with transformation which has provide water for the farmers they won’t be reluctant to key into the TSA system.