Governor Aliyu Wamakko
By Mohammed Aminu
Sokoto State Government has entered into partnership with Kebbi State and Turkey for the production of rice through the establishment of an irrigation scheme that will cover 22,500 hectares of land.
The irrigation scheme, THISDAY learnt, would focus mainly on the production of rice, thereby ensuring food security for the two states.
Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Wamakko disclosed this after a recent meeting with Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari at Government House, Sokoto.
Wamakko said the proposed irrigation scheme was an initiative between the government of Sokoto, Kebbi state and some experts from Turkey.
The governor explained that the irrigation scheme would be established in Augie and Silame local government councils in Kebbi and Sokoto states respectively.
He pointed out that the aim of the project was to boost food production in the two states and restore its lost glory in the area of agriculture.
Wamakko said the initiative was sequel to a meeting held recently by 19 Northern governors, where they resolved to revive agriculture in their respective states to boost food security, create employment as well as reduce dependence on oil.
He stated that the scheme when established, would go a long way in curbing unemployment, improve revenue generation and enhance the socioeconomic development of the two states.
In a remark, Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Saidu Nasamu Dakingari, described the irrigation scheme as a welcome development, saying government will set up a committee of all stakeholders to liaise with the affected communities.
According to him, “this is to ensure that the communities are carried along to avoid any problem in the implementation of the project.”
Dakingari assured that his administration would do its best to ensure the realisation of the scheme, as it would impact positively on the lives of the people.
Also speaking, Sokoto State Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Jabbi Kilgori, said the first phase of the project was expected to be completed in 18 months, while the second phase would be completed in seven months time.
He stated that the scheme would involve 22,500 hectares of land, adding that 9000 hectares would be used in Augie, Kebbi state and 13,500 hectares in Silame local government area of Sokoto state.
The commissioner explained that experts have completed survey and feasibility studies of the Fadama lands to be used, adding that dams and boreholes would be constructed for the irrigation project.
Kilgori added that efforts would be made to compensate farmers, whose farmlands would be used for the project before the commencement of the irrigation scheme.