The Federal Government has expressed its determination to continue to partner with institutions of higher learning in the country to enhance human capacity development in the water sector. This is sequel to the establishment of water resources capacity building centres in six of the Nigerian Universities, under the National Water Resources Capacity Building Network programme (NWRCBNet), where the concerned institutions will offer courses in post –graduate studies in water related courses.
While receiving the Vice Chancellors of the six Universities and the management of the National Water Resources Institute, Kaduna, in her office in Abuja, the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Reng Ochekpe challenged the Universities to further promote water education in order to strengthen the capacity of the sector, adding that water is too important to human life, hence the need to pay closer attention to develop the sector.
Mrs. Ochekpe further challenged the implementers of the network to inspire young people to take interest in water related issues, and that it was in realization of their critical role to the sector, that the Ministry of Water Resources along with the National Water Resources Institute introduced “Junior Water Prize” competition last year, to enable young people participate in an essay writing with focus on water related issues.
The Minister enjoined the six participating Universities under the National Water Resources Capacity Building Network to engage other universities in the country to set up programme in water studies, as part efforts to develop the sector with the necessary skills.
On the issue of accreditation for courses under the programme, Mrs Ochekpe promised to liaise with the National Universities Commission (NUC) through the Ministry of Education for necessary approval for accrediting courses in water studies.
Earlier, the Executive Director of the National Water Resources Institute (NWRI), Kaduna, Dr. Olusanjo Bamgboye, who led the delegation of the Vice Chancellors of the six Universities to the Minister, said that the Institute had supported the National Water Resources Capacity Building Network (NWRBCNet) with a seed fund of 12Million Naira to the six Universities with each of them receiving Two Million Naira.
According to Dr. Bamgboye, other assistance given to the Universities so far are: purchase and supply of ICT materials to two Universities, renovation of the centre building in the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, purchase and supply of two Toyota Hilux vehicles to University of Ilorin and the University of Calabar.
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