The World Bank is to inject 400 million dollars into irrigation development projects in Nigeria over the next four years, Mr Acheim Fock, Task Team Leader, World Bank Irrigation Project, has said.
Fock told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that the credit facility would be offered by the International Development Association.
He said the loan would attract 0.75 per cent interest and would be payable in 40 years.
According to him, the project has been in the pipeline in the last two year and is aimed at supporting large scale irrigation and water management in the Northern part of the country.
“With the irrigation project, the World Bank is trying to balance support to agriculture in the North and South of Nigeria with the ongoing water management and erosion control in the South of Nigeria”, he said.
Fock added that the project would utilise the resources of 20 dams and irrigation sites in Kano, Hadeja Valley, Sokoto Rima, Bakalori and Zobe dams and irrigation schemes.
The team leader expressed optimism that the project would enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the dams, and positively impact on the farmers productivity and well being.
“The idea is to make use of some of the existing investments of the World Bank in those areas and bring in full irrigation for the benefit of the population.''
Fock said feasibility studies and designs would commence at the Sokoto Rima River Basin, and the? Bakalori and Zobe irrigation sites before the end of the year.
He said the bank would work in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development under the Public Private Partnership arrangement.