The Nigerian Society of Engineers ( NSE) has called on governments at all levels to invest in the building of relevant multipurpose water infrastructures to check and prevent herdsmen forceful migration to areas of more favorable climate and explorable arable land.
The body explained that this is the major part of the solution to herdsmen killings in some parts of the country.
Rather than acquiring lands and spending billions of naira building ranches, the NSE said it is imperative for the federal government to recognize the fact that lack of access to water is the primary driver of migration in Nigeria.
Delivering the 2018 Ife Akintunde Annual Engineering Lecture at the Jogor Event Centre, Ibadan on Tuesday, the President, Nigeria Committee on Large Dams, Engr. Dr. Johnson Adewumi said rural urban drift can be curtailed through implementation of multipurpose water infrastructures in the country to check conflicts and bloodshed in the land .
With massive investment in manpower and building of multipurpose water infrastructure from small, medium and large dams across the country, the engineers promised that the problem of electricity in Nigeria will be a thing of the past.
According to the lecturer, Nigeria has abundant potentials to become the power house of the African continent ” but we must get our priorities right “.
The maiden annual lecture was organised by Oluyole branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers in honour of the the former Vice President, World Federation of Engineers, and former National President (NSE), Engr. Ifedayo Akintunde.
The topic of the lecture is Building Multipurpose Water Infrastructure from Small, Medium and Large Dams in Oyo state: Roles of Academics, Industrialists, and the Government”
Adewumi , while lamenting the failure of the government to fully utilize the abundant water resources in the country, noted that Nigeria benefits more than its neighbors from water resources of River Niger and Benue , and charged the government to begin to look inward to addressing the infrastructure needs of the country.
For instance, he said South West region has good potential of surface water rate, but water use rate is lower when compared with the North.
He added that South West is deficient in water infrastructures to meet social, agricultural and industrial needs.
“Asejire which was built in 1972 with the capacity of 32.9m3 can generate about 5.8million KWHR per year. This is sufficient to run the water dam treatment works and generate income for Oyo state government. As it is today Asejire has no record of effective multipurpose use,” he stated.
Engr. Adewumi therefore called on the Oyo state government to upgrade Asejire Dam to serve multipurpose uses such as hydro power and irrigation, adding that the dam is currently under-utilized.
Earlier , the Chairman, NSE , Oluyole branch , Engr. Ademola Agoro explained that the maiden annual was intended to chart a road map to addressing water problems and unlocking the potentials of building multipurpose water infrastructure in the state, and Nigerian .