NATIONAL WATER RESOURCES INSTITUTE
HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTE
In 1963 to 1964 a national awareness, generated by the Hydrological Technical Committee, existed in respect of the need for the establishment of the Institute of Water Resources.
In 1965, a group of Hungarians were invited to Nigeria to assess this need and the group made a proposal at the end of the easement.
This proposal recommended the establishment of a central Institute in the country to take care of the specific water resources problems. Such problems include for example salinity effects in the coastal areas; flooding in the flood prone areas of the country. Other subjects treated in the proposal concern navigation and power generation.
THE HYDROLOGICAL TECHNICAL COMMITTEE’S ROLE
The Nigerian Hydrological Technical Committee (NHTC) had deliberated on the need for the Institute, and had put up its first proposals in 1964, for the establishment of a Water Resources Institute in the light of the needs listed earlier.
The Hydrological Technical Committee (HTC) reviewed the Hungarian report for the Federal government and its recommendations were accepted by the Government. The civil disturbances and war beginning in January 1966 had stopped any possible further action on the establishment of the Institute.
The NHTC is a national body embracing representatives of professional organizations having to do with water resources and related matters in the country, including the defunct Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Geological Survey of Nigeria, Federal Inland Waterways, Federal Meteorological Department, various Water Boards and Corporations, and relevant Engineering or similar Departments of a number of our Universities and Polytechnics.
As a result of the Committee’s efforts, and the favorable response and co-operation of the government, the following documents are available in the form of proposals on the Institute.
- The 1970 review report of the NHTC Sub-Committee on the proposed Water Resources Institute: base on the Hungarian Proposal.
- The 1971 document, “Institute of Water Resources, Nigeria; proposals by the Federal Government of Nigeria for UNDP Assistance.”
- “Draft Requested to UNDP for the establishment of an Institute of Water Resources, Kaduna, Nigeria”, prepared with the assistance of the UNESCO / FAO Water Resources Mission of March/April 1974; the 1973 UNESCO/FAO report was considered to be not comprehensive enough, and then Federal Ministry of Agriculture was asked to review it in 1974 and “marry” it with the Hungarian report on the same subject matter.
- The documentation presented by the Romanian consultant Institute (ROMOCONCULT) for establishing and organizing and Institute of Water Resources in Nigeria, title “Proposals Concerning the Implementation of the Institute of Water Resources in Nigeria”. This was consequent upon the protocol concluding in Lagos in December 17, 1975, between the representatives of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry of the Socialist Republic of Romania.
THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT AGENCIES AND INSTITUTIONS
The catalogue of efforts geared towards the establishment of the Institute had been a fairly long one. However, with the creation of the (now defunct) Federal Ministry of Water Resources in Mid-1975, these proposals were being translated into concrete plans of action. The present location of the Institute at Mando road had been acquired since 1974. And by the untiring efforts of the present Director, Federal department of Water Resources, approval had been given in April 1975, by the Military Governor of then North Central State of Nigeria (now Kaduna State) through the state’s Ministry of Lands and Survey, to acquire the 30-acrepercel of land out of what was then the NDA’s land. The NDA gave its immediate approval for the relocation of that piece of land. Through the efforts of the Ministry of Water Resources and the support of the Federal Military Government, the implementation of the project started in earnest from the last third of 1977. For the purpose of implementation, the Ministry established an implementation Committee comprising of officials of the Federal Department of Water Resources, representatives of the Kaduna Polytechnic (Irrigation and Agric. Mechanization Department), Ahmadu Bello University (Department of civil Engineering), Bakura College of Agriculture, and N.E.P.A (Directorate of operations). The Committee held its first meeting on 17th October 1977, and by June 1979 it had held not less than nine meetings.
The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Housing Division, Kaduna, also played a very commendable role in supervising and certifying the buildings being put up for the Institute.
THE AIMS AND FUCTIONS OF THE INSTITUTE
THE INSTITUTE OBJECTIVES
The aims and objectives for the establishment of the National Water Resources Institute are the provision of the training facilities, water resources data banking, and investigations; detailed out as follows:
- Training, first at the sub-professional level, and later at the professional post-graduate level.
- Serving as a Centre for data centralization and publication, with the Hydrological/Hydrogeological unit of the Federal Department of Water resources and other agencies involved in data collection serving as data feeders.
- Conducting applied investigations into water resources problems as these are locally identified.
- Serving as a centre for the analysis of soil and water, and the conducting of model laboratory experiments related to water resources development field problems.
When fully operational, it would be possible for water users, planners and researchers to consult the institute for relevant advice and guidance.
THE INSTITUTE’S FUNCTIONS
The Institute is also expected play an important role in the operations (including implementation and interpretation) of the proposed “Water Resources Legislation” for the country. This role will be worked out with the “Water Resources Authority” or “National Water Resources Development Committee” mentioned under the provisions of the proposed Legislation.
The Institute will interact effectively with relevant Federal and State establishments (The Geological Survey of Nigeria, Federal Inland Water Ways, River Basin Development Authority, Universities, State Water Boards, National Electrical Power Authority, corporations or Utility Services, etc) for the realization of its objective under the water resources data centralization, publication and dissemination programme.
The Institute will establish mutual exchange relationship with similar Institution in other countries relevant professional or technical establishments, and co-operate meaningfully with appropriate international organizations or bodies in order to keep pace with current technological developments and latest water resources development practices.
Dr. Emmanuel Adanu