The Kogi State Government has inaugurated the steering committee for the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), with the call on the members to strive to ensure that issues of erosion and water shed management receives a pride of place.
Kogi State Governor, Capt Idris Wada, gave the charge when he inaugurated the NEWMAP steering committee, describing the effect of erosion in the State as not too pleasing.
The Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, urged the members of the committee to work hard to meet the June 15th deadline for the draw down of the first phase of the project involving seven other States
The Governor charged the committee to ensure that its efforts stems the issues of environmental degradation that is seriously affecting the State, urged them to move quickly to key into the timeline.
The Governor charged the committee to amongst other terms of reference provide a multi – sectoral approach that is in conformity with tackling erosion and watershed challenges. He also added that their assignments include; appointing independent monitoring consultants to monitor projects site amongst others.
Capt Wada described the committee members as capable hands and people who were chosen based on their track record, thanked the secretary to the State Government for providing an alternative office for the NEWMAP programme.
Earlier in his remarks, Prof. Olugbemiro Jegede, Secretary to the State Government said the Federal Government and the World Bank, is collaborating under the NEWMAP project and is focusing on the environment with regards to erosion in Nigeria.
While noting that Kogi State is among the first seven States to benefit from the programme, said the setting up of the steering committee is one of the major parameters to key into the programme.
In a remarks, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tayo Aremu and Chairman of the steering committee, said they are aware of all that is expected of them, promised that they will strive to deliver on all the expectation knowing fully well that the State is in competition with six other States.
The committee members are made up of the Permanent Secretaries of Agriculture, Water Resources, Finance, Lands and Housing, Permanent Secretary of the Kogi State Town Planning, Rural Development and the Executive Secretary of SEMA and has the Special Adviser of Environment Barr. Ladi Jato as the co-coordinator of the project.