Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The federal government has charged governors of the six Northern riparian states to resuscitate Hadeja, Jamare, Komadugu and Yobe basins trust fund (HJKYB-TF) to address the problems of water shortage that has caused poverty and unemployment in the states.
The Northern riparian states are the states in the North housing these basins formed from the tributaries of the Dilimi River in Plateau State.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who gave the charge at the opening ceremony of a summit of governors of the six riparian states (Plateau, Bauchi, Kano, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno) housing Hadeja, Jamare, Â Komadugu, Â Yobe basins held Tuesday in Jos, Plateau State, said the need for the resuscitation of the fund is for the sustenance of the basins that has been sources of water to these states not only for domestic use but also for agricultural purposes.
He said the need for sustenance of the basins is greater than in any of the other seven hydrological basins of the country because the basins are situated in a semi-arid region where over 15 million Nigerians depend directly on river for their livelihood.
He added that the past lapses in the management of water resources in these basins have had profound effects on the lives of the population, resulting to insecurity and abject poverty seen in the areas today.
According to the minister, it was in view of this that the six states with the support of the federal government held a summit in Damaturu, Yobe State in 2006 for the purpose of charting a road map to sustaining the basins, but lamented that after the trust fund was created by the summit to serve as a single shared platform through which states could provide a sustainable funding mechanism, the states could not meet their counterpart funding leading to its collapse, adding that the other challenge was the absence of Board of Trustees since 2012.
Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State had earlier in a welcome address said that his state places high priority on infrastructure development and recognises water sector as a very important component for the socio-economic development of the state, especially in alleviation of poverty and rural job creation.
Lalong added that since the inception of his administration, the state has given attention to water supply for domestic, industrial and agricultural uses, with plans to extend it to recreational uses.