The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, has warned managers of river basin development authorities to stop acting independent of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
Ochekpe issued the warning during the inauguration of new managing directors and executive directors of the authorities in Abuja on Thursday.
She urged the managers to work closely with and take orders from the ministry to achieve set goals, particularly at the local levels.
"The era of one man show in the management of the affairs of the river basins is over. Let me remind you that in the absence of boards for the river basins, all issues requiring the attention of the board must be referred to the ministry.
"In the past, some of you have allocated those powers to yourselves to do as you wish and that must stop henceforth.
"Let me also observe that many of you seem to operate independent of the ministry and let me also caution that we will no longer tolerate such nonchalant attitude," she said.
Ochekpe urged the permanent secretary and the directors of the ministry to report defaulting directors and river basin authorities to her for adequate action.
According to her, the call for the privatisation of the river basins will be louder if the managing directors do not improve in their performance to deliver their mandate.
Ochekpe inaugurated 22 officials for the effective running of the river basins, which are the main parastatal agencies of the ministry.
The acting managing directors of Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, Cross River Basin Development Authority and Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority were confirmed as managing directors.
Also, 19 others were inaugurated as executive directors in river basin development authorities in the country.
Mr Onu Eluwa will resume as Managing Director of Anambra-Imo River Basin Development Authority, Mr Essien Essien is Managing Director of Cross River Basin Development Authority, while Mr Ijasan Lucas is Managing Director of Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority.
Among those appointed Executive Director are Mr Bila Ali and Mr Daihiru Msheliza for Chad Basin Development Authority; Ms Onoye Beredugo for Niger Delta Development Authority and Alhaji Hussaini Shehu for Sokoto Rima Development Authority.
Ochekpe congratulated the appointees and wished them successful tenures.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry Mr Godknows Igali, in an address said the event was the beginning of a new journey to reform the water sector for the benefit of Nigerians.
He said the development would not just target the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but surpass the target.
"This shows the ministry has started a new journey of reform that will bring benefit to the people of the country,
"The ceremony will change the landscape of water, not just meeting the MDGs target but going beyond," he said.
Igali also congratulated the new managers and urged them to be professional in carrying out their duties.
He said he looked forward to a close working relationship with them.
In his response, Eluwa, on behalf of others, thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for their appointments.
He also thanked the minister for counting them worthy of the positions and prayed God to give them wisdom to discharge their duties.
Eluwa pledged that they would do their job to the best of their abilities for the development of the sector and the country. NAN