The Federal Government is fully committed to harnessing the hydropower potential of the various dams in the country and the agriculture transformation agenda for food security.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, made this known at the 2021 First Quarter Lunch Time Seminar for Media Executives in Abuja on Thursday.
”The Federal Government will not privatize any of its dams, as they were too strategic to be left in the hands of private individuals,” he said
He said that what was obtainable was the partial commercialization of dams and their river basins to revitalize and restore them to their lost glory through the public-private sector arrangement.
The minister called for better working relationships with the media, adding that the ministry would continue to push for the assent on the National Water Resources Bill, before the National Assembly.
According to him, the ministry is consistent with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Land Use Act, and should not be politicized.
He urged all Nigerians to get acquainted with the provisions of the bill, saying the majority of people still depended on second-hand information, which was usually distorted or said to reflect a particular agenda.
He also called on the media executives to support the ministry in its quest, saying the Bill was not a new law; rather an amalgamation of Water Resources Laws that have been in existence.
He noted that reports in the media appeared to have neglected the provisions of the bill which was for the development, management, and efficient use of the Nation’s water resources in line with global best practices.
“It is in the overall best interest of every citizen of the country that the process of its passage is not politicized.
“The general public is invited to note that this National Water Resources Bill when passed into law will better serve and provide for the enhancement of the water sector, in line with global best practices,” he said.
On urban water supply, Adamu said it was worrisome that no single state enjoyed 100 percent water coverage.
He said that plans were on to get a $750 million grant from the World Bank for urban water supply for some states.
He said given that only about 40 percent of existing water schemes are functional, these interventions would go a long way to change the narrative of poor water governance.
“Most water infrastructure was constructed during the colonial era, and our population keeps growing.
“Water supply is the responsibility of states and Local Government Areas. Federal Government only runs interventions. As a ministry, we are trying to see how states will begin to invest massively in water supply, this is very crucial,” he said
The minister pledged commitment for continued engagement of International Agencies on Transboundary Water for livelihood support and socioeconomic development.