FG to partner Plateau govt on food, WASH programmes


From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja

The Federal Government is set to partner with the Plateau State government and has expressed readiness to enhance food production, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programmes by leveraging dams, water supply, and irrigation.

Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Prof. Joseph Terlumun Utsev stated this when he hosted the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang, and his team in Abuja.

Prof. Utsev who explained that the collaboration was in line with the present administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda, highlighted key projects of the Ministry, such as the Open Defecation Free (ODF) Campaign, along with other interventions like the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation And Hygiene (SURWASH) and Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) programmes, as potential areas of collaboration.

He said there was a need to accelerate the implementation of these programmes at the sub-national and grassroots levels.

The Minister emphasized that the initiatives directly align with the pillars of President Bola Tinubu’s Agenda in achieving the administration’s vision of Renewed Hope, particularly in fostering food security, poverty eradication, economic growth, job creation, inclusivity, and anti-corruption efforts.

He urged the governor to align with the ministry’s programs, stressing the Federal Government’s commitment to realizing its campaign to end open defecation by 2025.

“As a strategy towards meeting this target, we need to construct toilets at various schools, markets, and motor parks, as well as engaging in public enlightenment campaigns, as invaluable initiatives” he emphasized.

On his part, the Minister of State, Bello Muhammad Goronyo, who emphasized the need to address issues like insecurity and vandalism of government facilities, maintained that prompt issuance of Title Deeds will add value to irrigable lands, prevent encroachment in the State and ensure food security nationwide.

Goronyo who commended the Plateau State Government for its numerous activities within its communities, aligning with Mr. President’s Agenda on food security called for job creation and wealth enhancement by unlocking the full potential of irrigation and industrialization, considering the strategic location of the State.

He also called for synergy between the state government and the Organized Private Sector, particularly in Sanitation efforts and appealed to the Governor to support the Ministry’s campaign to end Open Defecation by 2025 through the provision of Public Toilets.

In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alh. Aliyu Shehu Shinkafi underscored the importance of various ongoing Federal Government projects in Plateau State.

He urged the Governor to collaborate, particularly in areas such as SPIN, ODF, and other projects, emphasizing the crucial role of state governments’ involvement.

Shinkafi appealed to the Governor to spearhead the ODF campaign in the state and also mentioned plans for a high-level advocacy campaign to engage states, including Plateau, on the Ministry’s programmes

Earlier, the Plateau State Governor, Caleb Mutfwang, who expressed gratitude for the warm reception during his visit to the Ministry, acknowledged issues raised and pledged a high-level technical engagement with the Ministry.

The Governor also shared the state’s improved ability to track vandalized government equipment, prosecute offenders, and deploy technology for surveillance expressed readiness for a scheduled visit to Mangu Dam, and interest in participating in the SPIN project.

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