Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Sulaiman Adamu
James Emejo in Abuja
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Sulaiman Adamu and the acting Director General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Vincent Akpotaire have reiterated the federal government’s determination to effect the successful commercialisation of the country’s River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs). This is in line with the RBDAs Act of 1987 and commercialisation framework, which was approved by the National Council on Privatisation (NCP).
Speaking while receiving the acting BPE boss, who led the management staff of the agency on a courtesy call to update the minister on the reform process and strategy for the RBDAs, Adamu warned that unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks would not be tolerated in the proposed commercialisation process.
He said the ministry would work with the BPE to see that the privatisation effort come to fruition.
Adamu noted that it would have been needless for government to set up intervention agencies like the subsidy re-investment programme (Sure-P) and the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP) among others, the country’s RBDAs were working in line with the objectives for setting them up.
He said that the ministry in consultation with key stakeholders including the BPE would immediately set up a working group for the actualisation of the commercialisation programme which he said had become imperative.
However, Akpotaire said restructuring the RBDAs was a necessary condition for the realisation of the Federal Government’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda and ensuring food security for the nation.
He said the commercialisation of the River Basins would boost Irrigation potential of over 3.14million ha out which only about 100,000 is developed and unleash the potentials for large/small scale hydro-electric power generating station that are largely untapped among others.
In a statement by BPE spokesman, Mr. Alex Okoh, he also said the restructuring and commercialising the RBDAs would boost the economy in the areas of revenue generation, creation of direct and indirect jobs, alleviation of poverty, generation of electricity and promoting diversification of the rural economy among others.
He added that a Project Advisory Team (PAT) earlier approved by the NCP would be reviewed to ensure that the membership and input of key ministries, Infrastructure Concessions and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), RBDAs and other stakeholders are captured to speedily drive the process.