River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) in Nigeria were established since 1976 and they operate mechanized and capital intensive programmes. All the 12 RBDAs operate as separate Authorities, each with separate administrative and operational autonomy, but sharing the Basin Resources of the 8 Hydrological Areas. However, their performance was generally described as disappointing. This study first reviewed the existing organization of the 12 RBDAs in Nigeria. Thereafter, one of the 8 Hydrological Areas – the Komadugu-Yobe Basin (KYB) – which is the major inland drainage system in Nigeria was purposely selected for detailed study. Information on its major streams, tributaries and the main river; the hydrological area as well as the RBDAs sharing resources of the basin area, was gathered using ArcGIS version 10.0 and Erdas Imagine 9.2 software, as well as topographical and hydrological maps. This was processed and analyzed based on the principles of Stream Ordering and Logical Framework Analysis. The findings revealed that in establishing the RBDAs, basin-wide consideration of their sphere of operation was not taken into account. Dams were constructed before establishing the RBDAs. Runoff waters and spill ways were poorly controlled leading to flooding during rainy season and reduced water supply downstream during dry season, with serious environmental and socio-economic problems in the basin area. It was concluded that the RBDAs in Nigeria were poorly organized and have consequently failed to accelerate agricultural and rural development, and have also failed to boost food and industrial crop production as expected. The need was established for effective organization of River Basin Development and Management to improve their performance. To achieve this, a Conceptual framework for Integrated River Basin Development and Management was developed for adoption by river basin managers and other relevant stakeholders in Nigeria and around the globe to improve performance.
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