The Sokoto-Rima River Basin Graduate and Youth Empowerment Scheme has been inaugurated in Talata Mafara, Zamfara,North West Nigeria .
The scheme is aimed at promoting all-year farming and aquaculture through the of water and land resources from the river basin authorities.
The Nigerian Minister of Water Resources Mr. Suleiman Adamu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ms. Rabi Jimeta while commissioning the programme said government was committed to improving the livelihood of Nigerians adding that scheme was in line with the Federal Government’s policy of boosting food production and creating employment.
Mr. Adamu noted that the scheme was part of the short and long term strategies of the Blueprint and action plans to meet the food security challenges and reduce youth unemployment in the country.
Adamu also explained that the agricultural sector provides great job opportunities for the teeming youths, adding that with functional river basins, the goal would be achieved.
“The event we are witnessing today is yet another milestone to revitalise our river basin development authorities, which were established to boost agricultural production, all year round farming and achieve integrated rural development. The Buhari administration is committed to complete overhaul of the structure of our economy, which has largely been dependent on crude oil for decades.” He explained
The minister said that the scheme would be replicated in the one hundred and nine senatorial zones of the country.
The Managing Director of the Sokoto-Rima River Basin Authority, Alhaji Mukthar Anka, commended the Federal Government for its efforts aimed at strengthening river basins across the country.
Anka also said that project managers have been mandated to begin dry season farming early to forestall unnecessary delays that may come up.
“When the basin functions properly, it has the capacity to produce rice that would feed the nation,” he said.
Earlier this year the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Songhai Farms Limited in Porto Novo to reposition the river basins across the country.
Part of the provision is the introduction of the Graduate and Youth Empowerment Scheme to boost food security.
The scheme had been inaugurated in Kampe-Omi Dam in Lower Niger River Basin and Abeokuta in the Ogun-Osun River Basin authorities in South West , Nigeria.