The Federal Government has directed River Basin Development Authorities to embark on routine dredging of rivers and water channels to boost agriculture.
Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources, gave the directive on Thursday in Wachakal, Yobe, while launching the dredging of Kumadugu-Yobe tributary.
He said the measure became necessary to meet the target of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s self-sufficiency in food production.
Adamu said the availability of water would enhance massive agricultural production for food security, employment opportunities and economic recovery.
The minister also directed Lake Chad Basin and Hadejia/Jama’are River Basin to dredge water sources in their areas.
He assured Nigerians that government would find lasting solution to the menace of Typha grass on rivers which had hindered flow of water to the downstream.
Senate leader, Ahmad Lawan, said the failure to dredge the river in the last 25 years had grossly reduced water flow and agricultural production in the affected communities.
According to the lawmaker, the water flow has improved with the commencement of the dredging, adding that the surrounding communities have re-engaged in farming, fishing and livestock.
“Our people have massively gone back to farming, fishing and livestock. This administration believes in giving people means of livelihood, self-reliance and economic independence to liberate the people from clutches of poverty.
“In Yobe North, we have seen the change promised to us by the APC administration; it has been delivered to the people,” he said.
Emir of Bade, Alhaji Adamu Umar-Sulieman, said Yobe-Kumadugu River contributed 1.7 per cent of water to lake Chad but added the volume reduced due to siltation.
The emir, therefore, urged the supervising ministry to ensure the prompt dredging of the river to improve water flow, food production and security.