BY CHAMBERLAIN ODEY, JOS – The Federal Government has tasked member states of the Hadeija-Jama’are-Komadugu-Yobe River Basin to adequately fund the Basin Trust Fund as part of measures to resuscitate the Basin for effective service delivery to the people around the catchment areas and beyond.
According to the Federal Government, partnership with the States is already on the table in order to tap meaningfully into the Basin enormous economic potentials.
The Minister for Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu posed the challenge at the Summit of Governors of the six Riparian States on the Basin Trust Fund held at the Plateau State Government House Banquet Hall, Rayfield, Jos.
He called on the governors to as a matter of urgency, “reconstitute the board of trustees of the Trust Fund”; “provide financial support to resuscitate the Trust Fund”; and “provide counterpart funding required for executing the project supported by the African Development Bank”, as well as “proffer ideas on the way forward”.
Adamu said the need to resuscitate this Basin derives partly from the efforts of the present administration to address the twin problems of poverty and unemployment “by effectively harnessing our land and water resources”.
He noted that for the Hadeija-Ja’amare Basin must be given adequate attention to achieve its mandate because “it is situated in a semi-arid region where over 15 million Nigerians depend directly on river water for their livelihoods”.
Besides, he said, “it is the only Basin where past simple lapses in the management of water resources had profound effects on the lives of the population resulting to insecurity and abject poverty”.
The Minister regretted that “in the past four years, the Trust Fund has been unable to forge ahead in addressing the challenges of the basin due to a number of circumstances including the inability to raise additional funds after the initial provision of 10% of what is needed for achieving the objective for which it was created”.
Declaring the summit open, Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong described the summit as timely, noting that, “the Plateau State government is articulating a blueprint to implement the Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) principles and domesticate some recently adopted national water policies, strategies, and regulations”.
Lalong explained that “the objective of the Integrated Water Resource Management is based on the recognition of fresh water as a finite and vulnerable resource essential to sustaining life, environment, and for socio-economic development”.