Alhaji Abubakar Tela Suleiman is the Assistant Director of Finance at Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority in Yola, Adamawa State. In this exclusive interview with the Publisher of Top Society Magazine Agwazim Isaac Ifeanyichukwu, Alhaji Suleiman calmly narrated the importance of the Upper Benue River Basin Authority and why the agency is so vital not only to the Federal Government but to all Nigerians. The Talba Belel and Tambari Mubi also delved into reasons Nigerians should imbibe the culture of maintaining hygiene for a safer and cleaner water supply to all. Below is brief excerpt of the interview.
Can you give us a background of Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority?
Well.. the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority is established in 1976 by the Federal Government to harness the water resources potentials of the Upper Benue area that is comprising Adamawa, Taraba some parts of Bauchi and Gombe States. Our primary assignment is to harness the water resources for surface and ground water, the development of water resources, dams for hydro power for irrigation purposes and water supply for human and animal consumption.
As an agency of water resources, what are the strategies put in place to harness the best of water quality for consumption by Nigerians?
The process put in place to give people clean water for consumption by Nigerians is that we develop dams and then we install treatment plants to treat the waters and supply to villages and in some other villages, we treat water for them across all our catchment areas to ensure that every Nigerian enjoy clean water.
What are the areas that your agency portfolio covers sir?
We have one senatorial district in Bauchi State, in the whole of Gombe State, then two Senatorial Districts in the whole of Taraba State.
One of the vital situations we face today in Nigeria comes from probably the consumption of water or the environmental effect, what has the agency put in place to comb the water situation effect in Nigeria?
In all situations, we must ensure that clean water is supplied to the public. Clean and portable water across all the areas of our jurisdiction. The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is the mother ministry of our agency. So, if you can go round these days, the present Minister of Water Resources is always in the campaign for clean environment, against open defecation and other hygienic issues. He always campaign that people should desist from all these things to ensure that people enjoy clean water because open defecation normally, when it rains, it goes to the river and this is the same water that now goes to the public for consumption. That’s why the ministry always discourage people to do this.
What of the measures put in place to monitor that people do not consume inappropriate water?
Well… a lot of measures have been put in place but unfortunately majority of the responsibility of giving out portable water belongs to the state water boards. So in our own, most of our work now is to harness the surface water, that is the river water for dams and build dams for irrigation purposes, that is farming but the major percentage of providing water for people to drink is with the state government.