The Federal Government has inaugurated a nine-member Project Implementation Committee (PIC) for the partial commercialisation of four pilot River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) in Nigeria.
The four RBDAs are: Sokoto-Rima, Ogun-Osun, Upper Niger River and Niger Delta River Basin Authority.
They were chosen to attract private sector funds for their revitalization to ensure effective and efficient service delivery. The RBDAs are considered strategic players in the actualization of national food security, jobs and wealth creation through various agricultural activities.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja recently, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the partial commercialisation of the 12 RBDAs in the country is a golden opportunity to contribute to the advancement of the current reform through integrated River Basin Management.
He described the RDAs “as a vehicle for enhancing food security, jobs and wealth creation as encapsulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Government.”
Adamu commended the success of the processes, which commenced fully with the appointment of a Transaction Adviser and the conduct of a pilot study of the four RBDAs to evaluate their critical assets and commercial viability.
Also commending the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Transaction Adviser for their commitment towards the partial commercialisation of the RBDAs to make them sustainable, the minister also charged the PIC members to ensure a seamless discharge of their assignment.
The director-general, BPE, Alex A. Okoh, noted that the partial commercialisation and introduction of public-private partnership (PPP) would lead to the optimization of the RBDAs’ assets, which are key to the value chain of agriculture, irrigation, small scale power generation and potable water.
Okoh, who gave the committee six months to complete its assignment, charged the members to 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 Minister of Water Resources; advice 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; and make recommendations to NCP and the minister on ways to adopt the commercialisation and introduction of PPP implemented in the 4 Pilot RBDAs for the remaining RBDAs.
They are also to make any other recommendation for the consideration of NCP and the minister on the enhancement of the viability of the RBDAs and unlocking their potential.
The members are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, BPE, and the four pilot RBDAs.