Sen. El-Jibril Doguwa, Managing Director, Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, has urged the Federal Government to increase funding of the authority to perform effectively.
Doguwa said in Abuja on Monday that this would be in line with the agriculture policy thrust of the administration.
He said the reactivation of river basins across the country would boost agricultural production and generate employment opportunities for the citizenry.
He added that the Hadejia Jama’are River Basin was established to provide water for irrigation and domestic water supply, improvement of navigation, and hydro-electric power generation, among others.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the basin; we need increased funding so that the infrastructure can be completed.
“Making the basin functional will go a long way to make it meet the target of domestic water supply, irrigation and increase in agricultural production.’’
He decried the abandonment of Hadejia Jama’are River Basin for about 20 years, saying the action was a setback for the development of agriculture in the state and Nigeria.
He appealed to the federal government to create markets for the crops grown by farmers to encourage them to boost food production.
He said the water resources potential of the basin was not fully utilised, noting that with deliberate investment, Nigeria would benefit more from it.
Doguwa said it was expected that effective river basins would bridge the gap between the rural and urban centres by taking development to the grassroots and discourage rural-urban migration.
The managing director said the authority had so far developed 5,300 hectares out of 25,000 hectares of irrigable area at the Hadejia Valley Irrigation Project.
He said it was a multi-purpose project to support crop and livestock production and the development of fisheries in the predominantly farming communities living around the project site.
He added that with the development of the 5,300 hectares of irrigable area, farmers would be able to produce about 80,000 metric tons of food and cash crops valued at over N2.6 billion annually.
“The Hadejia Valley Irrigation project is making significant impact on poverty alleviation, employment generation, food security and rural development within and around the project area.
The Hadejia–Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, is responsible for surface and underground water resources development in Kano, Jigawa and Bauchi states.