While inaugurating a water project developed by the Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA) on Saturday in Ilorin at the headquarters of the police command in Kwara State, Prof. Joseph Utsev, who serves as the Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, has requested the assistance of the police to safeguard the farms and facilities owned by the LNRBDA located all across the nation. He pointed out that this cooperation would help the ministry make food security a reality.
Because of the spread location of their farms and other facilities, they require the assistance of the police in order to ensure the safety of their operations and improve the nation’s ability to provide food. Food security is an essential part of President Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ plans, which prioritise the improvement of the country’s economy. According to the minister, if they do not have reliable access to food, they will not be able to improve the president’s economic strategy.
Youth are trained to become self-sufficient and aid the nation’s efforts.
At the event, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on the other hand, reported that the Federal Government empowered 50 young people who had recently finished their training as part of the graduate youths’ empowerment scheme organised by the LNRBDA. The goal of the program is to educate and equip young people with the skills they need to become self-sufficient and contribute to the nation’s efforts to meet its needs in terms of food sufficiency.
Training was provided to the youth, both male and female, from Kwara and Kogi states in the areas of poultry farming, fish farming, horticulture, and crop farming. They were provided with monetary aid in addition to the necessary input to launch their farming operations. During the time that he was presenting the empowerment materials at a food exhibition, the minister admonished those who were the beneficiaries of the program to make effective use of both the information that they had learned and the empowerment tools that had been provided to them.
Irrigation materials and opportunities are provided.
Speaking further, he stated that efforts were being made by the ministry to provide potable water for use in drinking, sanitation, and irrigation purposes. In context, the delivery of water for irrigation will result in the realisation of three distinct benefits. According to him, the water that is utilised for irrigation will be put to use in the production of food; this would result in revenue for the government as well as employment opportunities for young people.
Dr. Adeniyi Aremu, Managing Director of LRNBDA, spoke at the water scheme’s inauguration and noted that the organisation had been actively training young people since 2016. 50 graduates were given irrigation equipment this year. Before that, Utsev paid Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara, Chairman of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF). He encouraged AbdulRazaq to get the other governors to cooperate with the ministry in order to realise the president’s Renewed Hope agenda.
The ministry should do feasibility studies and work with state governments.
In response, the governor gave the ministry the responsibility of conducting feasibility studies and working with state governments to clean up the River Niger and River Benue in order to put an end to the recurring flooding and improve food security. AbdullRazaq expressed concern that many major agro-allied firms have suspended operations due to damages incurred from the flooding of the Rivers Niger and Benue. In order to reduce wasteful project duplication across states, he urged the ministry to coordinate efforts with state governments.