The Federal Government on Thursday inaugurated the Board of Trustees of the Hadejia Jama’are, Komadugu Yobe Basin Trust Fund (HJKYB-TF) to restore water projects in Bauchi, Borno, Kano, Jigawa, Plateau and Yobe states.
The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, who inaugurated the Board of Trustees (BOT) in Abuja, said that the Federal Government initiated the water projects to essentially improve the livelihoods of the people in the riparian states.
Adamu said that the Hadejia Jama’are, Komadugu Yobe Basin (HJKYB) was one of the river basins in Nigeria which needed to be overhauled, as part of efforts to overcome the water crisis facing the six benefiting states.
“Permit me to take you down memory lane by recalling that in June 2006 at Damaturu, Yobe State; a summit of the six governors of the riparian states was held to brainstorm on the water problems facing the states.
“This resulted in the creation of the HJKYB-TF to serve as a platform for joint action by the riparian states of HJKYB, so as to address the land and water resources management challenges which are prevalent in the basin,’’ he said.
The minister commended the efforts of the six governors who took up the challenge and agreed to resuscitate the trust fund.
Adamu said that the inauguration of the BOT would further strengthen the commitment of the government to revamping of the water projects which were hitherto abandoned.
He said that the terms of reference for the new BOT included managing and superintending the affairs of the trust fund, approving rules and regulations to facilitate the functions of the trust fund.
Others were fixing the terms and conditions of service, including remuneration of employees of the trust fund, he added.
The minister, however, urged the BOT to review and update the work plan of the trust fund to adapt to the current water resources management challenges facing the basin and the strategic direction of the ministry.
He urged the six benefiting state governors to redeem the pledges they made at the summit in order to resuscitate the trust fund.
Also speaking, Mr Musa Ibrahim, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, said that the inauguration of the BOT was in fulfilment of the decisions reached at the summit in June 2006.
Ibrahim said that it was then resolved that the BOT should be reconstituted to enable the trust fund to fulfil its mandate as to the restoration of the water projects to improve the people’s livelihoods in the benefiting states.
Dr Hassan Bdliya, Executive Secretary, HJKYB-TF, who thanked the Federal Government for the intervention, said that the river basin had some of the critical water projects that needed urgent attention in the country.
He noted that a lot inhabitants in the region depended on the surface water for their livelihoods to the extent that the demand for water was higher than the available water.
“In addition, the river basin is shared between Nigeria and Niger directly and also Chad, Cameroun and Central African Republic because it contributes water to Lake Chad which we share in common.
“In order to restore it, there is need for policies, there is need for consultations, there is need for agreement and it is only the board that could do that,’’ he said.
In his speech, Mr Mailadi Misau, a member of the BOT who spoke on behalf of other board members, expressed their readiness to provide quality service delivery so as to achieve the goals of the renewed water projects.
“I wish to assure the minister, the leaders of the riparian states and, indeed, all stakeholders that with the calibre of people on the board; I do not see why the desired objectives of the projects cannot be fully realised,’’ he said. (NAN)