The team which comprises of representatives of Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Federal Ministry of Environment is chaired and co-chaired by the Permanent Secretaries, Federal Ministries of Water Resources and Agric and Rural Development, Baba Umar Faruk and Mrs. Ibukun Odusote respectively. They are expected to report to the Ministers of the two Ministries, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe and Adesina Adewumi who would forward the report to the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
While speaking during inspection of Gurara multipurpose dam and Azara Jere irrigation project both in Kagarko Local Government, Kaduna State, the leader of the team, a Director in the office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Daniel Daudu said that the essence of the committee was to synergize the effort of Water Resources and Agriculture Ministries to come up with strategies for improvement of food security in the country.
He added, “River Basins Development Authority are under the supervision of Ministry of Water Resources, while Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is in charge of food security; how can the Ministry of Agriculture produce food in the dry season without collaborating with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources through the River Basins Development Authority?, this is one of the key areas that we want to harmonize”.
Speaking on why the team decided to choose Gurara Project as first point to inspect, the Director said that Gurara project has so many components, it is very close to FCT and it has modern irrigation system that can serve as case study.
On tourism and Fisheries that was not in the initial component of the project, the Director said that the idea of the committee is to bring to limelight those potentials that existed and were not mentioned in the initial concept but are part of the transformation agenda for Government to invest in such area to fully maximize the benefit of the potentials.
In his remarks, the Assistant Chief Resident Engineer, Mr. Chris Okonkwo, who conducted the Task Team round Azara Jere irrigation projects said that the initial concept of Gurara project was to provide water to FCT; it was after conveyance of water the irrigation was initiated.
About 4,316 hectares of land has been cleared, with total growth of 3,835 hectares out of which 1,880 hectares are fully developed with 66 center pivot ready for irrigated farming.
(Report from Federal Ministry of Water Resources)