The government has announced plans to boost food security and flood control through the rehabilitation of dams across the country. It also disclosed plans to deregulate the irrigation system through partial commercialisation of the river basins to enhance economic viability.
Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Utsev, disclosed this during an on-the-spot inspection of Tiga Dam, Garun-Mallam Local Council of Kano.
“The rehabilitation of dams is a key priority for the government,” Utsev said. “Dams play a vital role in food security, flood control, and hydropower generation. By rehabilitating our dams, we can boost food production, reduce the risk of flooding, and generate more electricity.”
Utsev explained the Federal Government’s commitment to upscale the multiple usage of dams through enhanced irrigation systems to promote all-season farming.
He, however, identified some challenges needing urgent intervention and regretted the activities of farmers, who mostly break unauthorized channels into canals.
The challenges the minister identified include technical defection that requires urgent desilting of the dams to stimulate maximum volume flow.
Ma’Amun Dau Aliyu, Managing Director of Hadejia Jammaare River Basin, explained that over three million farmers were benefiting from the Tiga Dam, while hundreds of others syphon the water illegally.
The rehabilitation of dams is expected to cost billions of naira. The government has not yet announced how it will fund the project.
The deregulation of the irrigation system is also expected to face some challenges. Farmer unions have expressed concerns that deregulation could lead to higher water prices and less access to water for small-scale farmers.
Despite the challenges, the government is determined to proceed with the rehabilitation of dams and the deregulation of the irrigation system. It believes that these measures are necessary to boost food security, flood control, and economic growth.