By Magnus Effiong
The Minister of State, Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Bello Mohammed Goronyo, has commended the management of the Cross River Basin Development Authority (CRBDA) for its various initiatives which, he said, has helped in stemming the tide of unemployment.
Speaking in Calabar during his familiarity tour of facilities at the headquarters of the Basin Development Authority, the Minister noted that what he was witnessing in CRBDA was in line with the renewed hope and wealth creation agenda of the federal government.
He noted that the Songhai integrated farm in particular was of high standard capable of impacting the immediate community, particularly Nigerian youths, and therefore thumped up the Managing Director of the CRBDA, Engr. Bassey Nkposong for his dedication, commitment and ability to spur the staff to perform.
“The staff here are in high spirit expressing the needed passion to deliver. On our part, we must also deliver having signed our performance bond with the President,” he stated.
While commissioning the Songhai integrated farm, the minister said “We are not only commissioning this farm but a 3km access road which is a remarkable achievement also put together by the MD. We are ready to collaborate to deliver all that we promised.
“We also know that there are challenges and we will improve to deliver on our expectations. You all know that we have another mandate added to the ministry in the area of sanitation, and it is our desire to end the problem of open defecation in Nigeria by 2030 which Nigeria has keyed into as a critical stakeholder.
“As a government, we have already hit the ground running and we are out of our comfort zones to collaborate with critical stakeholders, private sector, traditional institutions and the management of the twelve River Basin Authority to reposition the sector and bring our people out of poverty,” he stated.
Goronyo, who disclosed that Jigawa remained the only State free of open defecation, said the federal government was also mulling building more toilets in schools, hospitals and other public institutions and places.
“We will engage community leaders, religious leaders, youths, critical stakeholders and indeed everyone to help in ensuring we end open defecation across the country,” he stated.
Earlier, the Managing Director of CRBDA, Engr Nkposong said Basin Authority was doing everything possible to ensure it meets the reasons it was established. He expressed satisfaction that his team was able to replace facilities destroyed during the ENDSARS protest.
Nkposong said apart from the Songhai integrated farm which has attracted university students to do their Industrial Training, the Basin Model School, which is one his administration’s projects, is also replicated in Akwa Ibom State. He however solicited the federal government’s assistance in tackling pressing challenges.
Pillar Today gathered that the Songhai farm is home to fisheries, poultry, snails and piggery farming as well as cultivation of bush mango, pineapple, banana, citrus, cocoa, coffee, oil palm, guava, pawpaw, cucumber, pepper, sweet potato, maize, okra, bitter leaf, scent leaf and fluted pumpkin amongst others.