The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Alhaji Shehu Shinkafi Aliyu, has called on the three tiers of government and the private sector in the water sector to examine the possibility of adapting the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMMING) project model in all public irrigation schemes across the country.
He said stakeholders need to focus on water governance and its role towards the promotion of National Food Security.
Shinkafi stated this on Monday at the opening ceremony of the 30th Regular meeting of the National Council on Water Resources and Sanitation with the theme: “People, Planet and Prosperity: Water Governance for National Food Security, in Abuja.
He mentioned that the declaration of state of emergency on food security by President Bola Tinubu in order to address high food prices under the Renewed Hope agenda has a component of water and sanitation.
“You will recall that the Federal Government has recently declared a State of Emergency on Food Security to tackle food inflation in line with the Renewed Hope of the present administration. The major components of this declaration as it affects the water and sanitation sector include: That all matters pertaining to food and water availability and affordability as essential livelihood items, be included within the purview of the National Security Council.
“Need for an urgent synergy between the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to ensure adequate irrigation of farmland and to guarantee that food is produced all year round.
“Engage our security architecture to protect the farms and the farmers so that farmers can return to the farmlands without fear of being attacked.”
The Country Director of the World Bank, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, represented by Mr Chinedu Emmanuel, said the principal role of quality governance for achieving food security cannot be overstated.
He said with an active portfolio of over $2 billion concessionary finances in the water sector alone, the World Bank, on its part, has been working hand-in-hand with Nigeria, and in this case, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, to support the organization of the top provisions of the ministry.
“One of the renewed agenda of the current government is national food security through its Irrigation Agenda Program, among many other programs.
“However, achieving the food security target is not what the federal government alone can handle. States must come on board fully. Hence, the critical need for quality partnership between the federal government and state governments should continue to be strengthened.