Not less than 20,400 direct jobs and 16,000 indirect ones have been created for Nigerians through construction of dams in the country, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has disclosed.
Director of Dams and Reservoir Operations in the ministry, Danjuma Madaki, who dropped the hint during the 2nd edition of Media Water Week on Wednesday in Abuja, said nine dams had been completed in the country between 2016 and 2020 while 20 new ones would be completed for use before 2023.
Madaki, who was represented by the Acting Director, Dams and Reservoir Operations in the ministry, Lawal Muhammad, said that the new dams would foster tourism, food security, water supply, power generation and flood control among others.
He, therefore, warned Nigerians against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in dams across the country, explaining that dams were constructed to ensure the supply of potable water for residents and should be kept clean at all times.
The director further urged residents to keep dams clean and safe from any form of contamination for proper hygiene, adding that dams generated electricity if managed well, as effective electricity supply could be boosted by dams.
In his own, the Director of River Basin Operations and Inspectorate in the ministry, Mr. John Ochigbo, said there were so many dams and irrigation infrastructure that were not properly maintained which were managed by his department.
Ochigbo said that the Integrated River Basin Management (IRBM) was a conflict resolution scheme that promoted awareness, equitable efficiency, and sustainable water management.
According to him, the IRBM scheme had empowered 976 Nigerian youths under the Graduates Youth Empowerment Programme through job creation and economic empowerment programmes.
A retired Director of Information from the Ministry of Information, Timothy Ayodeji, lauded the ministry for organising the Media Water Week.
“It has proven that the relationship between media organisations and governments can be mutually benefitting especially when the interest of the journalist and the public are alike,” Ayodeji said.
He said that they both had been found to engage in urgent, forceful and consistent campaign to educate the public with knowledge.
Ayodeji said that the event had reinforced the fact that in a democratic setting, the journalist could exercise the highest form of patriotism by monitoring events in the community and making the public aware of them.
“We need to make it clear to the public that the journalist best expresses patriotism by functioning as a committed observer.
“This is especially when the community is under stress or undergoing rapid, disorienting change, hence the media is known as the fourth estate of realm,” he said.
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