Stakeholders at a South East Regional Workshop on Establishment/Strengthening of Water Users Associations (WUAs) has called for the quick passage of the National Water Resources Bill to enhance irrigation scheme.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of a three-day workshop held in Enugu.
The Federal Government had sent the National Water Resources Bill to the National Assembly and the document is still pending on the floor of both legislative chambers.
However, the communique stated that the passage of the bill would strengthen the institutional framework for private sector participation in the irrigation sub-sector.
It also called on the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) and River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) to empower water users for effective participation in project planning, operation, maintenance and management.
The communique urged relevant institutions to complement WUAs with support programmes that would make irrigated agriculture profitable to farmers.
“There is the need for capacity building of WUAs, RBDAs and other stakeholders for effective management of irrigation schemes,” it stated.
Recall that the Permanent Secretary, FMWR, Mrs Esther Walson-Jack had during the opening ceremony of the workshop said that the event would provide solution to challenges in the irrigation sub-sector.
Walson-Jack said that the aim was for states and local government areas as well as farmers to be integrated in the adoption and operationalisation of WUAs to increase private sector participation and investment in the sector.
“This is in a bid to enhance competitiveness of irrigated agriculture for National Food Security and Sustainable National Development,” Walson-Jack said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was attended by no fewer than 172 participants comprising federal and state ministry officials of water resources, officials of RBDAs, farmers’ associations and others. (NAN)