The World Bank has arranged plans to help Nigeria boost her irrigation activities with about NGN100 billion.
This interesting arrangement was made known to the public by the National Coordinator, Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria, Peter Yakubu.
Yakubu disclosed this development while speaking during a courtesy visit he paid to the Managing Director, Sokoto Rima River Basin Development Authority. He revealed that more than 23,000 hectares of irrigable land are expected to be fully cultivated at the end of the project.
In his statement, the project involves five dams which includes Bakalori Dam in Zamfara State, Goronyo Dam in Sokoto State, Hadeja Dam in Jigawa State, Dafin Kowa in Gombe State and Kano State’s dam.
He also revealed that the five-year project ought to have commenced in 2014 but for delay in the release of funds which includes the Federal Government NGN44 million counterpart fund.
He assured Nigerians that with recent commitment of the Federal Government and the World Bank’s intervention, the aims of the project would soon be realized.
While speaking on the aims of the project, he said it was to help Nigeria attain food sufficiency and security, remarking that dry season farming was the only way to guarantee food security and abundance in Nigeria.
In the same vein, the World Bank’s Task Team Leader, Mr. David Cassanova, said the intervention was to help Nigeria achieve food security through irrigation programmes.
He disclosed that the visit was part of their routine checks carried out biannually to avail themselves of the level of preparedness for the start of the project. He regretted the inconveniences caused by the delay in drafting project plans for some of the dams.