Nigeria is set to assist Niger Republic with bulk water to facilitate irrigation projects in Niger.
Minister of water resources, Sarah Ochekpe, announced this while meeting with a delegation from the Republic of Niger in Abuja.
Ochekpe said the meeting was aimed at deepening cooperation on water resource management between the two countries
“This is to finalize the modalities and necessary agreement that would facilitate equitable utilization of water as there is notable high interdependency between our countries for industrial purpose, irrigation agriculture, energy and other uses. Also to share information and data to come up with better ways of implementing and monitoring the protocols and agreement to ensure mutual benefits.”. she said
Ochekpe further explained that Nigeria will consider the release of water to Niger for irrigation purposes as requested, but Niger on its part would construct big reservoir that would contain the volume of water released from Nigeria to avoid waste.
In his remarks, the leader of Nigerien delegation, the minister of agriculture, Abdu Labo, said the purpose of their visit was to seek for assistance from Nigeria in the area of bulk water for irrigation in order to fight drought.
According to Labo “Nigeria granting the request to us is just like assisting fellow brother .The relationship between Nigeria and Niger was not only in the areas of Ambassadorial appointment or the operation of Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission, but a blood relationship, a large number of population living in Niger have relatives in Nigeria and vice versa, therefore, the assistance is necessary for the two countries to benefit from agricultural and economic activities.”
He, however, urged the two countries to implement the decision that would be reached at the Technical Expert Meeting and assured that Niger would abide by the agreement that would fast track and cement the cooperation between the two countries.