River Basins Agencies under Ministry of Water Resources in Nigeria

16 Agencies Under Ministry of Water Resources in Nigeria

Flood: Nigeria Now Partly Underwate...
Flood: Nigeria Now Partly Underwater - Buhari ~ OsazuwaAkonedo

Last updated on November 23rd, 2021 at 02:01 pm

Clean and accessible portable is one of the critical areas of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Nigeria can only achieve this through its Ministry of Water Resources

Since 2015 till date, those who are closely monitoring the programmes of the Buhari-led government would know that a few bold steps have been taken to achieve the UN goals.

Some of the initiatives of the ministry include:

  • Water Resources Roadmap
  • Water Resources Bill
  • National Water Resources Policy
  • National Irrigation & Drainage Policy

But are the millions of Nigerians who depend on either borehole or river near their homes (in the villages) feeling the impact of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources?

Core Mandates:

To develop and implement policies that will make Nigerians have access to clean and safe water at all times.

Challenges of Water Resources Ministry

Over time, several policies were drafted and approved for implementation for the ministry of water resources to make water available to millions of Nigeria most especially in the rural areas.

But the merger, split, scrapping, and restructuring of the ministry lead to the abandonment of such water policies. For instance, the ministry at various times being merged with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Thanks to former President Goodluck Jonathan who made water resources an independent ministry during his administration.


To achieve its core mandate, the Water Resources ministry have 16 agencies, four of which are research institute while 12 is river basin authorities

They are:

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Water Agencies/River Basin Authorities Year of Establishment Mandate
Gurara Dam Management Agency (GDMA) 2009 To regulate the reservoir water use for sustainable water supply.
Ogun-Osun River Basin Development Authority (OORBDA) 1976 To develop and manage the water resources’ potential of Osun, Oyo, Ogun and Lagos State
Niger Delta River Basin Development Authority (NDBDA) 1976 to develop water resources to boost agricultural productions to support irrigable crops
National Water Resources Institute (NWRI) 1979 To train stakeholders in water resources and management.
Anambra-Imo River Basin Management Authority (AIRBDA) 1976 To provide access to safe and adequate water for domestic, industrial use and to promote socio-economic development of Nigeria
Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority 1976
Benin-Owena River basin Development Authority 1976 To undertake comprehensive development of both surface and underground water resources for multipurpose use in Nigeria
Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority 1977
Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority (LBRBDA) 1976 To develop water resources potential of Nigeria for agricultural, domestic and industrial uses.
Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NHSA) August 2010 To provide vital hydrological data needed water resources assessment and quality
Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC) May 2007 To regulate water resources development, planning and Management.
Chad Basin River Basin Development Authority
Sokoto-Rima River Basin Development Authority 1976 To coordinate various projects under the Sokoto Rima and Middle Rima River Basins.
Cross River River Basin Development Authority 1976 To help develop water resources and control flood and erosion in Cross River and Akwa Ibom States
Hadejia Jama’are River Basin development Authority 1976
Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority (LNRBDA) 1994 To develop surface and underground water resources potentials of Nigeria for agricultural use in the area of irrigation.

Note: There are 12 river basin development authorities in Nigeria

Past Ministers of Water Resources:

  • Mohammed Bello Kaliel: 1999 – 13 June 2001
  • Muktar Shagari: 13 June 2001 – 10 January 2007
  • Ahmed Bello: January 2007 – May 2007
  • Sarah Reng Ochekpe: 12 July 2011 – 29 May 2015
  • Suleiman Hussein Adamu: 11 November 2015–present
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The ministry is located at Block A1, A2, Federal Secretariat Complex, Area One, P.M.B 159, Garki, Abuja.

  • Official website: waterresources.gov.ng
  • Email: info@waterresources.gov.ng

Solving The Problem of Access To Clean Water in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Water Resources could generate billions of naira in revenue to the Federation Account through Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission if it can clearly define the roles of NIWRMC.

Despite the fact that millions of homes have boreholes, yet it’s very expensive for some people to bear. As such, the ministry could partner with the private sector that will be supplying clean and potable water to homes in Nigeria.

There used to be Water corporations in most of the state governments in Nigeria at a time, most of them have now collapsed or functioning below capacity. Private sectors just like we’ve seen in the telecommunication industry can solve the problem of scarcity of portable, clean, and safe water for millions of Nigerians across the country.

The Ministry of Water Resources should extend its mandate beyond the Federal Capital Territory, it needs to collaborate more with the Ministry of Agriculture at delivering good irrigation to farmers in Nigeria for economic development.

Featured Image Credit:
  • Premium Times NG

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