Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu has said the federal government plans to create millions of jobs in the agriculture sector over the next few years through massive irrigation farming.
Adamu said the plan is a key part of the government’s overall plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
The minister stated this in Abuja on Monday at the second edition of the Nigerian Media Water Week.
He said his ministry through its water projects would fast track job creation and enhance food security through irrigation farming.
Adamu said the ministry was also collaborating with women in irrigation farming because of the prominent role they play in the Nigerian agriculture sector.
He said the government realised that while human hygiene and health rely on potable water, adequate supply of water is also crucial for irrigation farming and job creation, adding that the Federal Executive Council has been supportive of the ministry’s efforts to deliver on its mandate.
The minister noted that 13 states have attained Open Defecation Free status due in part to federal water projects, adding that 10 million Nigerians now have access to potable water.
He said the ministry was working with other stakeholders to eradicate Open Defecation by 2025 through its water projects.
The minister commended the mass media for their support through their reportage of the activities of his ministry and enlightening Nigerians on the benefits of water.
At the event, the minister also launched a five-year compendium, from November 2015 to November 2020, on water resources development in Nigeria.
Adamu said the compendium outlines the ministry’s projects and achievements in the water sector within the last five years.
Earlier, the permanent secretary in the ministry, Didi Walson-Jack, said the success of the first Media Water Week encouraged the hosting of the second edition.
Mrs Walson-Jack, who was represented by Benson Ajiselore, a director in the ministry, said the media are essential partners for the success of the water sector.