Nigeria: FG to review strategies for water resources management

Minister of Water ResourcesThe 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 on Friday during 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, will enable the Federal Government strengthen its capacity to generate, store and manage data in the water sector, and initiate programmes that will contribute immensely to the development of existing dams.

Ochekpe said, “We will, among other things, lay emphasis on strengthening internal capacity to deliver adequately on our mandate through training and skills development and engagement of consultants (where necessary), prioritise ongoing projects to ensure early completion, rehabilitation of existing ones and review current policy framework and enforcement.”

She said the outcome of the new strategies would be presented to the Federal Executive Council at its next meeting on January 9.

The minister 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. 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, according to her, are to increase access to safe potable water, efficient water resource 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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