Agriculture: FG tasks NPF in security of farms, River basin facilities
Prof Joseph Utsev, the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, has called for the cooperation of Nigeria police force (NPF) in securing farms and facilities of the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA) across the country.
Utsev made the call in Ilorin, while commissioning of water project constructed by the LNRBDA at the headquarters of the Kwara state police command, Ilorin.
The minister said food security is a major component of the renewed hope agenda of president Bola Tinubu which he said the ministry was out to actualize.
”Our farms and facilities are scattered all over and we need the coorperation of the police to safeguard them to boost food security.
“Food security is a key component of the renewed hope agenda of president Bola Tinubu, without food security, we cannot drive the president’s economic policy “, he said.
Utsev who had also earlier paid a courtesy visit to the state governor and Chairman of Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF), Malam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, urged him to prevail on other governors to work with the ministry to actualize the renewed hope agenda of the president.
In his response, the governor urged the ministry to carry out feasibility study and collaborate with sub- nationals to embark on dredging of river Niger and Benue to prevent perennial flooding issues and boost food security.
AbdullRazaq lamented that some agro- allied company including Olam farms have had to halt operations because of the damage being caused by flooding arising from River Niger and Benue.
He urged the federal ministry of water resources to also work with state government to avoid duplication of projects in states.
The Federal Government also empowers 50 youths who just completed training from the graduate youths empowerment scheme of the LNRBA.
The programme which is an initiative of the federal ministry of Water resources was designed to train and empower youth to be self reliance and meet the nation’s need in food sufficiency.
The youths, comprises of males and females from Kwara and Kogi were trained in poultry, fish-farming, horticulutre and crop farming.
They were enpowered with cash and relevant imputes to start their farming businesses.
While presenting empowerment materials to the graduates of the scheme during a food exhibition, the minister charged the beneficiaries to put the knowledge they had acquired and emopowerment tools given to them into judicious use to boost food security.
The MInister who commended the Authority for keying into the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration in the country disclosed that he was on an onsite assessment of ongoing projects, completed projects.
He explained that this is to have a first hand assessment of some challenges in the Authority and to see how to upgrade the facilities on ground.
Speaking on ways his ministry can help the policy thrust of the present administration in the country, he stressed that water is not only important but very necessary in the existence of living organisms, without water there can be no life.
He disclosed that his ministry is working assiduously to see how to provide potable water for drinking, sanitation and irrigation.
According to him, provision of water for irrigation will provide a tripartite benefit to Nigerians.
“The water for irrigation will be used in the production of food which will enhance food security because when this food security is enhanced it will not only provide the food on the table for Nigerians it will also generate revenue for the government and also provide employment for the teeming unemployed youth of the country.
The Minister also hinted that work is ongoing in the background on the dredging of the river Niger and Benue explaining that once the committee saddled with the responsibility of assessment is ready with their report, Nigerians will be told.
In his address, Dr. Adeniyi Aremu, the Managing Director of LRNBDA explained, “the Scheme started in 2016 and till date we have not missed in training youth every year.
“We have a lot of our people empowered and many of them standing on their own. This year we are empowering 50 graduates with irrigation items.”