Kano River Irrigation Scheme will impact millions, says Osinbajo
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration has added another feather to its cap in the agricultural sector as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday inaugurated the multi-billion-naira Kano River Irrigation Scheme (KRIS), which will touch at least one million lives.
The scheme is a component of the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria Project (TRIMING).
Speaking at the commissioning in Bunkure Local Government Area of Kano State, Prof. Osinbajo said: “The project is an innovative approach adopted by the Federal Government, which has opened access to life-changing opportunities for the farming communities that are involved with the project.
“The project also serves as a vehicle to effectively harness the potential of vast water resources infrastructure, some of which were built well over 40 years ago but largely remained either unutilised or grossly underutilised.
“The main beneficiaries of the project include basin stakeholders, irrigation and drainage entities, water users’ associations, farmers, and rural dwellers in the Project areas. Through the direct infrastructure investments covering about 37,500 hectares across six states, concurrent activities in agriculture and on-farm water management in these areas, approximately 140,000 farm families with about 1 million people are directly benefiting.
“Today’s event is a clear demonstration of the Buhari Administration’s commitment to transform the conditions of our people in the communities of our nation’s bread basket.”
He said optimizing water resources in such a way will revolutionize the local agricultural economy and ultimately enhance the food security of the Nigerian people, adding that the practical advantages of unshackling our farmers from the constraints of rain-fed farming and boosting their capacity for year-round farming cannot be understated. This is precisely what we are doing through this project.
Osinbajo said the objective of the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria Project was essentially to enhance the productivity of 140,000 farmers within and near the following four rehabilitated irrigation schemes in Northern Nigeria; Bakolori Irrigation Scheme in Zamfara State, Middle Rima Irrigation Scheme in Sokoto State, Kano River Irrigation Scheme and Hadejia Valley Irrigation Scheme in Jigawa state.
According to the VP, the project provides technical assistance for farmers at each irrigation scheme and facilitates strong forward and backward linkages along the value chains.
Earlier in his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje thanked the Vice President for his support and the Federal Government for its commitment to the actualisation of many impactful projects in Kano State.
Citing roads, rail and airport projects, among others executed by the Federal Government, the governor noted that Kano was being transformed into a centre of trade and commerce in West Africa, adding that the irrigation scheme would add value to farming communities and associated businesses in the state.
On his part, Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu commended the President and Vice President’s commitment to the actualization of many people-oriented projects across the country.
Other dignitaries at the event were the Minister of State for Works & Housing, Umar Ibrahim El – Yakub, Emir of Rano, His Royal Highness, Alhaji Kabiru Inuwa and the Managing Director of Hadejia Jama’are River Basin Development Authority, Alhaji Ma’amun Da’u Aliyu, among others.