RBDAs: Catalyst for food security, job creation, Says Water Minister

..As Okoh gives TIC six months to complete task
Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, has said that the partial commercialisation of twelve River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) in Nigeria by the Federal Government is to attract private sector funds for their revitalization to ensure effective and efficient service delivery as the RBDAs are strategic players in the actualization of national food security, jobs and wealth creation through various agricultural activities.Inaugurating a 9-member Project Implementation Committee (PIC) for the partial commercialisation of four pilot RBDAs in the country in Abuja on Tuesday, September 14, 2021,the Minister  noted that the exercise is  a golden   opportunity to contribute  to the advancement  of the Reform Agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari through integrated  River Basin  Management “as a vehicle  for enhancing  food security, jobs and wealth creation as encapsulated  in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Government”.

The four pilot RBDAs are: Sokoto-Rima, Ogun-Oshun, Upper Niger River and Niger Delta River Basin Authority.

Adamu who emphasized that the process is not the privatisation of the RBDAs’ assets, expressed happiness that the implementation of the processes leading to the partial commercialisation of the RBDAs commenced successfully with the appointment of a Transaction Adviser and conduct of a pilot study of four out of the 12 RBDAs to evaluate their critical assets and commercial viability towards partially commercializing them.

While commending the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Transaction Adviser for their commitment towards the successful partial commercialisation of the RBDAs to make them sustainable, he charged the TIC members to ensure a seamless discharge of their assignment.  

In his brief remarks at the occasion, Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh noted that pursuing the partial commercialisation and introduction of PPP in some projects of the RBDAs would lead to   the optimization of the RBDAs’ assets and the key resource of water along the value chain of Agriculture, Irrigation, Small scale power generation and portable water for consumption.

Okoh who gave the committee six months to complete its assignment,   charged the members   to be guided among others:
·        Review the approved recommendations and the proposed implementation strategy by the Advisers for the partial commercialisation and introduction of PPP in some projects of the Pilot RBDAs;·         Work out the modality and drive their implementation of the recommendations;

·        Monitor and review the implementation and make appropriate recommendations to the Honourable Minister of Water Resources;

·        Advise on steps to be taken for the sustenance of the commercialisation and introduction of PPP in RBDAs;

·        Liaise with relevant stakeholders to ensure smooth and seamless implementation of the recommendations;

·        Recommend ways and means to ensure optimal utilization of RBDA facilities;

·        Make recommendation to NCP and the Honourable Minister on ways to adopt the commercialisation and introduction of PPP implemented in the 4 Pilot RBDAs for the remaining RBDAs; and

·        Make any other recommendation for the consideration of NCP and the Honourable Minister on the enhancement of the viability of the RBDAs and unlocking their potentials.

The 9-Member committee is drawn from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, BPE and  the four pilot RBDAs.

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