By Adeola Badru
The Federal Government has said that it is committed to ensure effective utilization of water resources for economic growth of the country.
The Minister of Water Resources, Engr . Suleiman Adamu , stated this in Ibadan on Thursday, during a sensitisation workshop on national water resources masterplan and United Nations Water Convention for Stakeholders in the Southwest geo-political zone, held at the conference centre of the University of Ibadan.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, noted that federal government in 2014, approved a 16-year National Water Resources Master Plan with Japan to ensure proper management and development of the nation’s water resources.
Speaking further, she said this was aimed at ensuring a sustainable management of water resources and achieve accelerated growth in all sectors of the country’s economy.
She said: “This was because the master plan’s estimated that the country’s demand for water would increase from its current 5.93 billion cubic metres per year to 16.58 billion cubic metres in 2030.”
“It is on this premise that the ministry is sensitisating stakeholders on the Master plan and UN water convention to enrich their knowledge and drive productivity in the sector.”
“The goal of the plan was to achieve accelerated growth, integrated and coordinated water resources development and management, agricultural production and food security.”
“The implementation of the 1995 masterplan recorded very low imputes which was attributed to several reasons, including lack of political will, weak implementation structure and poor justification for budgetary provision and appropriations.”
“Currently, more than forty percent of the global populations rely on shared basins for their livelihoods.”
“Consequently, the 1995 Water Resources Masterplan was reviewed and approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC on July 3, 2014. This gave birth to the 2013 water resources masterplan that is operational in the water sector.”
“The ministry had organised sensitisation in Kano and Sokoto States respectively. We are now in the city of Ibadan to consolidate and create awareness on this important document.”
“The sensitization will aide the implementation of the 2013 master plan to reduce water scarcity.”
Earlier in his address of welcome, the coordinating director in the Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr S. Adedigba, acknowledged the inestimable value and contribution of the development partner (Japan International Cooperation Agency), for efforts made in partnering with the federal ministry of water resources in ensuring that the national water resources masterplan was developed and as well all stakeholders acquainted with the details of the masterplan and the expected roles for all stakeholders.
He, equally, informed the gathering of the bold steps taken by the state government towards ensuring groundwater extraction is regulated in the state, among other environmental protection policies.
The federal ministry of water resources also expected to host zonal workshops in the six geo-political zones of the country where discussions would be held with relevant stakeholders on the importance of water resources to all sectors.