Professor Joseph Utsev made this statement during a visit to Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State at the Government House in Benin City. The minister's visit aimed to officially launch 2023 dry season farming through the Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority.
He announced the commencement of nationwide dry-season farming to meet the national food production targets. Utsev sought the state government’s approval of Title Deeds for acquired lands from communities in the state to facilitate the proposed partial commercialization of River Basin Development Authorities. This, he added, would encourage public-private partnerships in key projects for the benefit of the public.
Utsev highlighted the ministry’s intervention projects in water supply, irrigation, dams, erosion control structures, and sanitation facilities within the Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority catchment areas, covering Edo, Ekiti, Ondo States, and Delta North Senatorial District.
Governor Godwin Obaseki, in response, stressed the need for synergy between states and the federal government, commending the minister’s dedication. He urged collaboration on efficient water use and requested the Federal Government to consider state water agencies, highlighting the economic potential of water resources across the country.
Both parties expressed commitment to collaborate in areas of irrigation, water supply, dams, and programs like Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene and Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Sanitation and Hygiene. Obaseki presented the Alaghodaro Summit souvenir to the Minister during the ongoing Edo Economic Summit.