September 21, 2023

Food Security: World Bank to focus on irrigation devt in Nigeria

Food Security: World Bank to focus on irrigation devt in Nigeria

The Honourable Minister, Engr. Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev, the Honourable Minister of State, Bello Muhammad Goronyo, the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, OON, mni, Mr. Jun Matsumoto and others

By Gabriel Ewepu

ABUJA- THE Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation and the World Bank are to focus on irrigation development in order to boost food security and others.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Engr Joseph Utsev during a meeting with the World Bank Team on Sustainable Power and Irrigation in Nigeria (SPIN)/TRIMING Project, Tuesday, at the Ministry’s Conference room in Abuja as contained in a statement signed by the Head, Press and PR, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Funmi Imuetinyan.

Utsev who pointed out the significant achievements of Nigeria’s ongoing Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria, (TRIMING) Project, said he welcomed the proposal to replace the TRIMING Project, set to expire next year, with the Sustainable Power and Irrigation Project for Nigeria (SPIN) by the World Bank, which is expected to address the country’s pressing challenges relating to food sufficiency.

The Minister maintained the Tinubu-led administration’s commitment to food security, improved irrigation techniques, and enhanced farming practices across the nation as he expressed deep gratitude to the World Bank team for the remarkable progress made over the past nine years and expressed optimism that this initiative, which should be a long term engagement, will yield even more significant outcomes.

Earlier, the SPIN/TRIMING World Bank lead, Jun Matsumoto, in a remark, acknowledged the successful transformation of irrigation asset management through the establishment of Water Users Associations.

According to the statement, Matsumoto noted the pivotal role played by these Associations in ensuring the sustainable management of irrigation resources and called for support in achieving the project’s objectives.

Meanwhile, he emphasized the critical importance of collaboration in the upcoming SPIN project and elaborated on the SPIN project’s core objectives, which include utilizing existing water resources infrastructure to address the nation’s water resources and energy requirements.

He also revealed that the project will encompass comprehensive technical assistance studies focused on large-scale water resources management and the development of multi-purpose dam hydropower projects.

In conclusion, he (Matsumoto) mentioned the collaborative efforts involving other Ministries, with the Ministry of Power and Ministry of Agriculture also contributing to this endeavour.

The meeting was also attended by the Honourable Minister of State, Bello Muhammad Goronyo, Esq., and the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, OON, mni, alongside members of the World Bank Team and several Technical Directors.