Federal government of Nigeria has partially commercialized twelve River Basin Development Authorities, RBDAs,
The Minister of Water Resources, Engineer. Suleiman Adamu said action is to attract private sector funds for their revitalization to ensure effective and efficient service delivery as the RBDAs are strategic players in the actualization of national food security, jobs and wealth creation through various agricultural activities.
Inaugurating a nine-member Project Implementation Committee (PIC) for the partial commercialization of four pilot RBDAs in the country in Abuja, the Minister noted that the exercise is an opportunity to contribute to the advancement of the Reform Agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration through integrated River Basin Management as a vehicle for enhancing food security, job and wealth creation as encapsulated in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government
Engineer Adamu, who emphasized that the process is not the privatization of the RBDAs’ assets, gave the four pilot RBDAs to include Sokoto-Rima, Ogun-Oshun, Upper Niger River and Niger Delta River Basin Authority.
He expressed joy that the implementation of the processes leading to the partial commercialization of the RBDAs commenced successfully with the appointment of a Transaction Adviser and conduct of a pilot study of four out of the twelve RBDAs to evaluate their critical assets and commercial viability towards partially commercializing them.
While commending the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, and the Transaction Adviser for their commitment towards the successful partial commercialization of the RBDAs to make them sustainable, he charged the PIC members to ensure a seamless discharge of their assignment.
In his remarks, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Alex Okoh noted that pursuing the partial commercialization and introduction of PPP in some projects of the RBDAs would lead to optimization of the RBDAs’ assets and the key resource of water along the value chain of Agriculture, Irrigation, Small scale power generation and portable water for consumption.
Mr. Okoh who gave the committee six months to complete its assignment, charged them to among other things, review the approved recommendations and the proposed implementation strategy by the Advisers for the partial commercialization 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 Honourable Minister of Water Resources;
A statement signed by BPE’s Head of Public Communications, Amina Othman, urged the members to advise on steps to be taken for the sustenance of the commercialization and introduction of PPP in RBDAs as well as liaise with relevant stakeholders to ensure smooth and seamless implementation of the recommendations among other duties.