Abuja, Feb. 14, 2018 (TNE) The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved multiple projects for the Ministry of Water Resources to increase the scope of irrigable land in the country.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, announced this when he briefed State House Correspondents on the outcome of the FEC meeting.
He said one of the approvals will increase the irrigable land available by 100,000 hectares.
“We are vigorously pursuing our irrigation policy wherein we hope to increase our irrigation hectarage by additional 100,000 hectares by 2020.
“We are doing that through direct efforts with on-going projects in the ministry and through intervention by the World Bank when we got about US$495 million under the trimming project.
“Work has already started in Bakolori and two more projects, Kano River irrigation project and Hadejia Valley project, will soon take off; the procurement process has been completed.
“For the other two, in Goronyo and Dadinkowa, studies are being completed and we hope to intervene there in future.
“Those are the trimming projects but we are also doing a lot of other projects which we inherited.
“With the combined efforts we hope we will be able to achieve at least another 100,000 hectares of irrigation by 2020.
“But our target is by 2030, under the irrigation master plan, government should be able to invest in up to 500,000 hectares of irrigation.’’
The minister added that the ministry is also opening about one million hectares within the Benue and Niger River Basins for potential commercial investors in irrigation to bring up large-scale projects.
He said some schemes are on-going which the ministry intends to expand and also plans to provide the country’s dams for investors in cat fish farming.
The minister said FEC was informed of the completion of some of the hydro projects such as Kashimbila and Gurara dams but said it is awaiting the completion of transmission lines.
He said upon completion of the lines, they will enter the national grid, adding that five other mini hydro schemes are ready for concessioning to the private investor.
He said the FG plans an international conference on the revamping of the Lake Chad in order to reach a consensus to save the lake from drying up.
He said that international collaboration will lead to the holding of a donor conference for the Lake.
The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, added that his Ministry has presented a memo for the augmentation of the price for the completion of the shore line protection for the Tin Can Island truck park.
“It is a memorandum seeking the augmentation of the price due to the need for reviewed scope of work, especially shoreline protection of the Tin Can Island Trailer and Truck Park which is almost finished.
“It is an on-going project. We sought Council’s approval to augment the price from N8.66 billion to N9.55 billion, an augmentation of N892.17 million.
“We expect that the Truck park will now be completed this year and it will be one of the many multi-pronged efforts being pursued to give relief to the Apapa area.’’
According to Fashola, the measure is to facilitate vehicular movement, maritime activities, import and export business and general economic activity for Apapa area, Lagos and the entire country.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udoma, also said that FEC was elated by the successes recorded by its economic policies.
Udoma said that although the country exited from recession and other economic indices were rising, the administration is bent on attracting new foreign and domestic investments worth N25 billion.
According to the Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, FEC observed a minute silence for the late former Interior Minister, Gen. John Shagaya.