By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Dearth of ideas and innovations has been identified as reason why River Basins Development Authorities in Nigeria have failed in delivering its mandate.
Dean of committee chairmen, River Basins Development Authorities in Nigeria, Mr. Eseme Eyiboh has said.
Eyiboh who stated this on Tuesday in Uyo during interaction with newsmen in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, said that previous managers of the Basins Development Authorities in the country failed to realize that leadership was not responsibility but earned, thus created food insufficiency in the past.
River Basins Development Authorities of Nigeria was founded under the Act of Parliament in 1986 to among other things, manage the surface and underground water resources in order to boost agriculture which is the country’s economic mainstay.
He hinted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to revive the agency to make it deliver on its mandate of boosting agriculture and food sufficiency in the country.
To this end, Eyiboh said President Buhari-led administration has begun the process of full evolution in the agricultural sector to bring about value chain addition in the economy where farmers will benefit from their proceeds.
This according to him, includes ideas and innovations aimed at diversifying the nation’s economy, creation of smart climate agriculture which encourages the development of agriculture based on climatic conditions and also collaborating with ECOWAS commission to drive the necessary innovations to boast the sector.
“The federal government is determined to grow the sector and has come up with innovative policies not only to ensure food sufficiency but to boast value chain addition.
“Before now there was a decline in value chain where farmers were no longer having the benefit of their labour” he said regretting that the middlemen who buy from them were the ones having the field day.
He also expressed regret that before now states were not keying into the programmes and policies of the federal government to boost food production in the country.
“But what we have seen is that most governments at sub-national level were not buying into it, if they should, there wouldn’t be anybody going around to look for white collar jobs”, he said.
Eyiboh, who is also the Chairman, Governing Board of Cross River Basins Development Authorities (CRBDA) said the agency is poised to revive the management of surface and underground water resources as part of deliberate efforts to resuscitate agriculture in the country.
This, he added would be done through “resource mobilisation and commodity strategy” saying it would trigger growth in the agriculture sector that would help in diversifying the economy.
According to him, CRBDA also intend to address the situation by providing the necessary “nursery that would propel agricultural revolution and make the sector a pride to all farmers.”
He said for instant, the rice farm at Nkari and other agricultural projects in Akwa Ibom State were being revived while similar projects in Cross River State would also be revitalised to make farmers enjoy the benefits of their investments.
Eyiboh advised farmers to form cooperatives to enable them benefit from the programmes of the federal government including the various borrower schemes being made available by the present administration.
Prior to Mr. Eyiboh appointment into the board of CRBDA, he was a former member representing Eket Federal Constituency in the 6th Assembly and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Media and Public Affairs.