The Kano Budget Working Group (KBWG) has called for an upward review of the budgetary allocation to the water and agriculture sector sectors in the proposed 2018 budget, in alliance with the Maputo declaration in which African countries including Nigeria pledged to commit up to 10% of their annual budgets to the agric sector.
The current budgetary allocations for the agriculture and water sectors in the 2018 appropriation bill stand at N118bn and N95bn, respectively.
“There is need for an upward review of the budget allocation for the water and agriculture sector. Given that Nigeria is a signatory to the Maputo declaration of 10 percent of total budget expenditure for agriculture, it is imperative that the allocation to the sector be increased as a show of commitment to the agreement,” urges Safiyanu Lawal Bichi of the Kano Budget Working Group (KBWG); a Kano civil society coalition focused on transparency and accountability in budget processes.
He also called for the need to prioritize the timely release of funds meant for the Hadejia Jamaare River Basin adding that such projects had direct impact on the lives of millions Nigerians. He therefore sued for effective legislative oversight, tracking and monitoring of all water and irrigation projects allocated to Kano state which among others, include the expansion Of Kano River Irrigation Project (KRIP).
“Deliberate Legislative oversight, tracking and monitoring of all projects awarded by different stakeholders need to strengthen so as to avoid waste and ensure quality and timely execution of projects. To this end, we appeal to the appropriation committees in the two chambers to make their doors widely opened so as to receive information from the CSOs on their budget tracking efforts,” says Bichi.
Bichi particularly called for the distillation of Tiga and Challawa Gorge dams to clear their channels and make chance for enough water to be in circulation for the needy farmers; the refurbishing of the existing channels under Kano River Irrigation Project (KRIP); as well as the construction of new channels which he said will enhance the growth of the Project
“The construction of the Tiga and Challawa Gorge dams upstream was the backbone of KRIP, a development that stalled flooding, whose custody has since been taken by the FG through the Hadejia Jamaare River Basin Development Authority. KRIP is meant to be a large scale agricultural project with focus on irrigation and is planned to cover 66,000 ha,” he said.
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