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Water Management Is A Key Driver To Economic Development – Min. Of Water Resources

The Honourable Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Reng Ochekpe made this statement while speaking at the Ministerial Platform 2014 held at the Federal Ministry of Information in Abuja on Tuesday. The event titled Third year of Transformation in the Water Sector hosted representatives of the African Development Bank, the European Union, with an array of development partners.

The Minister while highlighting the various achievements made in the last three years praised the Goodluck administration for making such feats possible by re-establishing the Ministry of Water resources in 2012.

‘We are working assiduously to implement the Transformation Agenda as it relates to our core mandates. Water has been identified as the primary medium through which climate change will impact people and the ecosystem.’ Ochekpe stated.

While speaking the Minister stated that the Ministry of Water Resources had in the last four years completed 37 dams of various sizes and rehabilitated 10.

“Construction works on 149 dams of various capacities are on-going in various parts of the country. On completion of the dams the water impoundment in the nation’s dams will be increased by 3.6billion cubit metres. These dams are also being brought up along international safety standards.”

Ochekpe pointed out that although the primary responsibility for the provision of the municipal and domestic water supply was that of the states and LGAs, the Federal Government intervened to increase the nation’s water access in other to meet the MDGs and Vision 20:20:20.

“We know that states are responsible for water supply, but understand that they cannot do it alone. Ministry will continue to perform its mandate to ensure the effective utilization of the nation’s most important resource”. She maintained

The Minister brought to light contributions of the Ministry to other sectors such as Power, Agriculture and Human Development.

“Special attention has been given to the agriculture. About N45billion has been generated by farmers since the dams were created. The Ministry under the RBDAs supported the nation’s food security programme with 3,013,296metric tonnes of food and crops valued at N45billion.”

“We plan to increase hydro power generating capacity to 750MWs. Out of the 37 dams 16 are with hydro-power potentials capable of generating 135.5 MWs of electricity.”

Ochekpe also stated that the nation’s water resources had been recharged to the tune of 440billion cubic metres, applauding the administrations contributions which had allowed her Ministry to provide a total of 4,940 water supply facilities nation-wide.

“Total installed capacity of the completed water facilities amounts to 1.9million cubic metres per day, and over the last four years these infrastructures have granted access to over 30million people on urban areas.” She stated.

Also in attendance, Hon. Minister of Information Labaran Maku encouraged communities to take ownership of completed water projects to enable their safety and continuity. He added that the water sector like all others needed to be equally driven by the private sector but encouraged local investors to take advantage of the opportunities.

“Water management has become a global issue. We need a lot of foreign investments but we must not wait for foreign investments alone, the government cannot do it all, private sector must take the lead”. Maku stated

He praised the administration’s efforts adding that platforms such as the ministerial Platforms aided in boosting accountability in governance which was very necessary for the growth of democracy.

The Ministerial Platform was initiated by the Goodluck administration and features serving Ministers who present their plans and score-cards to the media as well as Nigerians home and abroad. The maiden edition of the platform was held in April 2012 as part of the activities to mark the nations Democracy Day as well as the first anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan.

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