Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources on Wednesday, said the ministry had started the process of establishing Songhai model of agriculture to increase food production and job creation.
Adamu, who said this at the ongoing Nigeria Media Water Week in Abuja, noted that this was also in line with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to promote social and economic development.
He said that the model, which was being replicated in its Graduate and Youth Empowerment Programme, has 50 unemployed graduates practicing agriculture, fisheries in each 12 river basin development authorities.
According to him, the river basin development authorities have been revitalised, restructured and mandated to increase land cultivation, boost extension services and produce more food.
‘‘The river basins development authorities have also introduced the concept of an integrated agricultural practice, the Songhai model, which we hope to replicate in each of the 109 senatorial zones of the country in the years ahead.‘‘In addition, we have commenced the Graduate and Youth Empowerment Programme in all river basins, riding on the Songhai model aimed at engaging 50 unemployed graduates on various agricultural activities.’’
He said that efforts were on to commercialise the River Basin Development Authorities toward self-sufficiency, promote economic diversification and guarantee food security.
He said that the Federal Government was more committed to complete all abandoned water projects, saying that this would help to derive maximum benefits from these investments.
The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr Musa Ibrahim, said that the media week was conceived to enable the ministry give account of its achievements and challenges.
Ibrahim said that the ministry recognised and appreciated the role of the media as an invaluable partner in educating and informing the public on the developmental strides of the Federal Government.
Earlier, a media expert, Mr Henry Angulu urged journalists to have passion for their jobs, saying that this would make their activities less stressful.
Angulu said that challenges of poor capacity building, poor working tools, poor motivation were hindering journalism practice, saying this needed to be reversed.