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 would 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 495 million dollars 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.
“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 was 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 were on-going which the ministry intended to expand and also planned 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 awaiting the completion of transmission lines.
He said upon completion of the lines, they would enter the national grid adding that five other mini hydro schemes were ready for concessioning to the private investor.
He said FG planned 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 the international collaboration would lead to the holding of a donor conference for the Lake.