A water resource expert, Razak Jimoh, has said that Nigeria currently lacks dam capacity to properly arrest floods and prevent loss of produce as the current budgetary allocations to the sector are inadequate.
He said the N475.6 billion estimated for the execution of the nation’s water sector is not enough, hence the abandonment of critical projects. Jimoh made this known during a two-day capacity building workshop in Abuja.
He said: “Some of the critical projects meant for control of floods and management of water resources have been on the drawing board for years, but lacking attention due to lack of funds may spell doom for Nigeria, especially in the areas of destruction of crops and a reduction in dry season farming.
“The amount proposed in the water resources document was only a quarter of what was required for the sector’s optimal performance.”
He explained that the project that was expected to arrest water from Cameroon’s Lagdo dam when over-flooded, for instance, had been on the drawing board for over 20 years.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, also emphasised the importance of water. She said: “Nothing is new in the water resources bill before the National Assembly that is not in our laws before.” She urged more collaboration with other ministries for understanding of the 2013 National Water Resources master plan.
The Director, Water Resources Planning and Technical Support Services, Mrs Alice Ojowu, also said the water resources master plan was key to the success of the project.