17 January 2013

Nigeria: FG to Review Strategies for Water Resources Management

The Federal Government has begun moves to review strategies to enable it effectively manage water resources in the country.

The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, said in Abuja at the strategic meeting for performance and agenda setting for 2013 that the move would help the ministry deliver adequately on its mandate.

She said the meeting was convened early in the year in order to take practical steps to mitigate the impact of the flooding that affected major parts of the country last year.

The move, according to her, would enable the federal government strengthen its capacity to generate, store and manage data in the water sector, initiate programmes that would contribute immensely to the development of existing dams.

She said, "We will among other things, lay emphasis on strengthening internal capacity to deliver adequately on our mandate through training and skills development and engagements of consultants where necessary, prioritise ongoing projects to ensure early completion as well as rehabilitation of existing ones, review of current policy framework and enforcement."

She said the outcome of the new strategies would be presented to the Federal Executive Council at its meeting this January. She said, "We have convened this review meeting so early in the year first because the events ending the year left us all demoralised so we couldn't hold such a review.

"Secondly, the sectoral presentations have already commenced at the FEC and we are slated for January 9, 2013 and you will recall that ministers signed a performance agreement with Mr. President in August on the premise that we will give a progress report of our performance at the end of the year."

The key deliverables of the ministry of water resources are to increase access to safe potable water, efficient water resources management for irrigation, enhanced water sanitation and integrity of fresh water ecosystem as well as regulation of integrated water resources management.

Ochekpe said the ministry had commenced the processes of effective reservoir management so as to mitigate any likely effect of excessive rainfall within the year.

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