By Adedapo Adesanya
The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to commercialise the nation’s 12 River Basins to enable them to deliver on their mandate effectively.
This was disclosed by the Director, River Basin Operations and Inspection at the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr John Ochigbo.
Mr Ochigbo made the declaration at a news conference on Wednesday in Benin City, Edo State as part of activities at the ongoing 10th National Water Conference themed Sustainable water resource development and management, where he represented the minister, Mr Suleiman Adamu.
He said the commercialisation of the basins would enable them to generate increased revenues for the government.
He noted that the 12 basins were almost comatose before 2016, but that they had been repositioned for greater efficiency by engaging professionals to manage their affairs.
He assured that the huge infrastructure available at the basins would guarantee a return on investments.
Speaking further, Mr Ochigbo said the federal government approved the commercialisation of the river basins to ensure that they had sustainable operations and management of their infrastructure.
“The basins have huge infrastructure like water supply schemes, dams and irrigation infrastructure that require good funding to be able to keep them running and to provide dividends for Nigerians.
“We are inviting the private sector to identify with this window of opportunity that has been provided,” he said.
Mr Ochigbo added that as part of efforts to reposition the basins, their agriculture business mandate had been restored.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the National Water Resources Institute, Mr Emmanuel Adanu, called for the strengthening of the basins for optimal performance.
Mr Adanu who bemoaned the absence of realistic data on the availability, accessibility and affordability of water in the country, called for efforts to ensure sustainable management of water resources.
He noted that the passage of the Water Resources Bill at the National Assembly was crucial in turning the water sector of the country around.
“The merits of the Bill is so much and we believe that when it is passed and signed into law, it will transform the water sector,’’ he stated.
On his part, Mr Saliu Ahmed, Managing Director, Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, said deliberate efforts needed to be made to regulate water resources.
According to him, Nigeria cannot afford to be blind to the issues of regulating its water resources development and management; be it from abstraction to handling and conveyance.
“For an equitable access to water for all to be guaranteed, we must regulate and manage our resources through legislation,” he said.
Akinwumi Adesina Turns Down Requests to Become Next Nigerian President
By Adedapo Adesanya
The President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), Mr Akinwumi Adesina, has ruled himself out of the 2023 presidential race in Nigeria.
Mr Adesina made his position known in a statement on Tuesday after months of calls for him to join the contest after a group bought the presidential nomination form of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him at the cost of N100 million.
In the statement, the banker emphasised that his current desire is to continue to hold the office of the president of the AfDB which he won reelection for last year.
However, he expressed appreciation for those who found him worthy of leading his country at this critical time it is undergoing different challenges ranging from economy, security and others.
“While I am deeply honoured, humbled and grateful for all the incredible goodwill, kindness, and confidence, my current responsibilities at this time do not allow me to accept to considered,” the statement read in part.
“I remain fully engaged and committed to the mission that Nigeria, Africa and all the non-African shareholders of the African Development Bank have given me for Africa’s development.
“I remain fully focused on the mission of supporting the accelerated development and economic integration of Africa,” Mr Adesina added.
Less than two weeks ago, a coalition of 28 groups purchased the N100 million APC presidential forms for the former Agriculture Minister.
The coalition consists of groups such as the Youth Arise Movement, Nigerians in Diaspora, One Nigeria Group, Prudent Youth Association of Nigeria, women groups, farmers, and other civil society groups.
Sanwo-Olu Promises Justice for Sound Engineer David Imoh
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has promised to ensure that the late Sound Engineer killed by a mob in the Lekki area of the state last week gets justice.
The Governor gave this assurance through the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement issued on Monday night.
Last week, after boarding a commercial motorcycle, an argument ensued between Mr David Imoh and the okada rider over N100 and attracted other riders, who then lynched him.
There have been calls for justice for the deceased and in the statement today, the state governor said this would be done.
He condemned the mob attack and said the police are interrogating four suspects at the State Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Panti in connection with the incident, while two survivors of the act are in hospital.
According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, the government will address the root cause of this and similar incidents, which have caused public anxiety, appealing to residents to remain calm as police continue to investigate the matter.
“Lagos has no room for savagery and anybody found to have been involved in this barbarism will surely face the law.
“We condemn and will not condone any kind of jungle justice, no matter who the perpetrators are,” the statement stressed.
N80bn Fraud: EFCC Arrests Accountant General of the Federation Ahmed Idris
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, is cooling off in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He is having talks with the agency, explaining what he knows about an alleged diversion of N80 billion belonging to the federal government.
He was picked up by operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022, after allegedly failing to honour invitations by the commission to respond to issues connected to the issue.
In a statement issued on Monday night, the anti-money laundering organisation claimed that Mr Idris, through verified intelligence, “raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.”
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja,” another part of the statement disclosed.
The AGF has been in the news lately over an audit report, which indicted some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the federal government of fraud.
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