Nigeria: Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has admonished stakeholders to shift from traditional and unregulated irrigation practices to sustainable land and water use management approach.
Adamu said this at a virtual meeting recently at the National Irrigation Forum on Institutional Strengthening and Management of Public Irrigation Schemes in Nigeria and Annual General Meeting in Ibadan, Oyo State.
According to him, Nigeria is endowed with water resources whose sustainability is threatened by land degradation, deforestation, rapid population growth and other social-economic developments, including the effects of climate change.
Ecology and social science in managing water and land resources for irrigation, drainage, flood control and river training alongside related research would go a long way toward changing poor narratives.
At the meeting organized by the Nigeria National Committee on Irrigation and Drainage (NINCID), he said that these myriads of challenges could be halted through stimulation, promotion of development, application of arts, science and techniques of engineering, agriculture and economics.
He further revealed that ecology and social science in managing water and land resources for irrigation, drainage, flood control and river training alongside related research would go a long way toward changing poor narratives.
The Minister stated that it was expected that NINCID members would deliberate, share ideas, knowledge and experiences on how to advance irrigation and drainage practices in Nigeria.
He however, urged participants to come out with resolutions that would further consolidate irrigation practice for attainment of sustainable irrigation and water management in the country.
In her opening remarks, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, said that NINCID, as a knowledge-based sharing platform was dedicated to improving the status of irrigated agriculture and management.
According to her, this included rain-fed agriculture driven by experts, contributions for the development and acceleration of irrigation, as well as drainage practices in Nigeria.
Jack said that NINCID had established the Young Professionals Forum with members drawn from the Ministry of Water Resources, River Basin Development Authorities and the National Water Resources Institute.
“I am optimistic that the committee will discuss ways and means of strengthening the Young Professionals Forum and suggest options for its sustainability; and also generate resolutions that will reposition NINCID to operate optimally’’, she said.