The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev, has commissioned Rafin-Yashi Irrigation Scheme, covering over 28 hectares of land and Songhai Integrated Farm at the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority to boost irrigation farming and address food security in the country.
The minister also commissioned two reservoirs with over 700,000 and 1 million water storage capacities respectively for irrigation purposes.
The minister said one of the reservoirs would supply water to Rafin-Yashi Irrigation Scheme while the second one would serve the zero-waste Songhai Integrated Farm.
The Rafin Yashi Dam which was also part of the projects commissioned was said to be about 650,000 meters deep and it helps in controlling flooding in the immediate communities.
The minister said the dam if completed would serve several purposes including power generation, adding that the irrigation scheme would help creates jobs, revive the country’s economy and boost food production in line with President Tinubu’s new hope agenda.
“Last week, we commissioned high flag of 2023 dry season farming as a mandate given to the Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation to boost food production and all hands must be on deck. It is not going to be business as usual.”
The minister called on the Niger State Government to make its arable lands available to the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority for irrigation purposes for the good of the state and Nigeria as a whole, adding that state government needs to venture into creation of irrigation facilities and encourage citizens to do the same, saying that it was the only way food production would be boost in Nigeria.
“Food must be available to Nigerians, both for consumption and export. Aside boosting the economy, it will also help in reviving the security of the country. So, we are doing this in all the 12 river basins that we have in Nigeria,” he added.