To ensure that food continues to be on our table, the World Bank is spending $495 million, about 151 billion naira in Nigeria to provide water for Nigerian farmers to water their crops.

According to Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu who disclosed this on Thursday, the World Bank-funded $495m ‘Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria’ programme will revamp irrigation management in Nigeria.

The programme, he said, is a seven-year programme targeted at rehabilitating five irrigation schemes in five Northern states.

The schemes are Bakolori Irrigation, Zamfara; Middle Rima Valley Irrigation, Sokoto; Kano River Irrigation, Kano; Hadejia Valley Irrigation, Jigawa and Dadin Kowa Irrigation, Gombe.

According to him, Nigeria cannot rely on rain-fed agriculture if it must meet the food security potential and employment generation target.

“As the country’s population expands, deliberate efforts are needed to revamp the River Basins Development Authorities (RBDAs) in Nigeria, because they serve as vehicles for socio-economic development in any nation," he said.

He said that the recent inauguration of the Bakolori irrigation scheme in Talata Marafa was targeted at rehabilitating no fewer than 8,000 hectares and expansion of 5,560 hectares of irrigation works.

This step, Adamu said, would go a long way to improve irrigation potential, adding that the replication of such schemes was in line with the agricultural policy of the Federal Government.