2nd March, 2012
If Nigeria does not quickly put an end to wastage in all the sectors of the economy, the upcoming generation might not have anything left to run the country with during their time.
The Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Service and Establishment, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, who stated this during a tour of dams in Ekiti State, said Nigeria has everything and yet lacks everything.
Ojudu, who was reacting to the barely functional dams in Ekiti state, explained that it is the same story of rot, corruption and lack of maintenance all over the country, a situation, he said, drives him to tears.
He told newsmen that he set out with an expert from the Israeli Embassy, Mr Reuven Cohen, to see if the dams could be used for agricultural purposes, but that it was disheartening that virtually all the dams require turn-around maintenance or complete overhauling.
He noted that a director in the Ekiti State Ministry of Water Resources, who is also part of the MDG programmes in the State, said the Ero dam would require three to four billion naira to restore it to its original capacity.
The Itapaji dam will also require up to a billion naira to function optimally. Senator Ojudu, who also visited the reserve at Ago-Aduloju and Eka, both in Ado-Ekiti, explained that he wanted a situation where commercial agriculture would thrive on a large scale in Ekiti State, making the State a base for export of farm produce and providing jobs for youths.
He revealed that he and the other two Senators from Ekiti, Olu Adetumbi and Anthony Adeniyi, are trying to lobby the Federal Government to include the turn-around of the dams and its subsequent use for commercial agriculture in this year’s budget.
The Israeli expert, who was on the tour, said Nigeria is a land of abundance, stressing, however, that the nation’s resources should be put to better use to benefit its citizens, thereby reducing the country’s poverty rate.
He noted that Israel has only one dam that supplies water to its citizens and for agricultural purposes, but that through effeciency Israel is a big name in commercial agriculture. He said if the dams in Ekiti could be put in proper shape and used for commercial agriculture, Ekiti would soon be exporting farm produce.