River Basin: The Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu has said restated the importance of reforming the nation’s River Basin Development t Authorities (RBDAs).
He said the importance was seeking alternative sources of funding to shore up their revenue bases thereby making them self-reliant.
The minister made the assertions while declaring open a three-day business implementation training on the partial commercialisation of four pilot River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) in Abuja on Tuesday.
While noting that the Federal Government was not unaware of the challenges facing the RBDAS, the minister, added that what was on for the RBDAs partial commercialization and not privatization.
The essence, he said, was to make them economically viable, self-reliant and sustainable even as he assured of no job losses.
He commended the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the Transaction Adviser for organising the training aimed at building requisite capacity for the RBDAs staff and other relevant actors towards a successful Commercialization of the pilot projects.
In his remark, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises Mr. Alex A. Okoh reiterated the Federal Government’s unwavering commitment to the promotion of private sector participation in the operation, management and maintenance of the RBDAs without divesting its shares.
It would be recalled that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) have selected four (4) River Basin Development Authorities namely: Ogun -Osun RBDA, Upper -Niger RBDA, Sokoto -Rima Basin RBDA and Niger- Delta RBDA for phased pilot partial Commercialisation.
The specific economic benefits of reform and commercialisation of the RBDAs include:
· Improved efficiency, effectiveness and cost consciousness.
· Significantly reduced dependence on Federal Government for funding.
· Realistic capital structures and improved ability to access private capital for investment in the infrastructure of the RBDAs.
· Financial solvency through effective cost recovery, cost control and prudent financial management.
· Viability and self-sustainability of the RBDAs.
· Goal oriented management and staff, whose future is linked to the fortunes of the organisations.
· Employment generation for large numbers of youth in rural areas.