28 February 2013

Nigeria: FG to Improve Food, Power, Water Supply

To ensure adequate supply of food, power generation and improved water supply and sanitation, the Federal Government has inaugurated new management teams of River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs).

The RBDAs are the main parastatals of the Ministry of Water Resources established since 1976 to ensure that a nationwide systematic and consistent programme of integrated water resources development and management is achieved for the socio-economic development of the nation through their project executions especially among rural communities.

Speaking during the inauguration, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, tasked the new RBDAs Managing Directors and Executive Directors on the need to ensure that the President's Transformation Agenda on water, food and electricity is achieved within the shortest period of time.

In her words: "Your appointment, which is hinged on the need to maximise capacity within the RBDAs is a call to strive and bring back to life the ideals of the RBDAs as a vehicle for integrated rural development and as catalyst for self-sufficiency in food production, power generation and improved water supply and sanitation through integrated water resources management and development to enable this government attain the Transformation Agenda for the water sector and rural development."

Ochekpe noted that their appointment has come with huge challenges to justify the confidence the President has in giving opportunity for career officers from the ministry to manage the RBDAs.

Continuing, the minister said: "As you are aware, the Ministry has a Water Resources Roadmap and following the conclusion of the Presidential Summit of Water, we are in the process of designing new programme initiatives for active participation of key and relevant stakeholders including the private sector in the water resources development and you are challenged to look for ways not to only attract these stakeholders sector in your operations but to engage them actively.

"Managing Directors and Executive Directors must work together to improve needed leadership and key into the new policy direction and strategy for the attainment of our goals. The era of one-man show in the management of the affairs of RBDA is over.

"The water sector must from now on begin to impact more on the lives of Nigerians through provision of efficient and effective services. Your projects must be properly costed and executed. MDs and EDs must work together to deliver on their mandate. Let me say emphatically that you are not in competition with each other. Rather you should complement one another. Remember, TEAM simply means Together Each One Achieves Much," she added.

The minister assured that her ministry has started a process of reviewing and updating the RBDAs operational guidelines, as well as the creation of a department for the coordination of RBDA operations and inspectorate for improve liaison with the ministry.

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