Effective public policies are needed to manage a nation’s natural resources, including soil and water. However, making such policies currently requires a shift from a traditional qualitative approach to a mix of scientific data, evidence and the relevant social elements, termed data-driven policymaking. Nigeria, like most developing countries, falls short of the framework for this approach. Nevertheless, the lack of potable water in some regions and the continuous degradation of farmable lands call for intervention through effective policy formulation and implementation. In this work, we present a conceptual workflow as a strategic step towards developing a framework for a data-driven soil and water resources management policy. A review of the current legal and policy framework and selected scientific literature on soil and water resources in Nigeria is presented. Analysis of the National Water Resources Bill proposed in 2018 is used to highlight existing gaps between policy, scientific data and reality. Modern field techniques and project-based examples for soil and aquifer characterization that can be adapted for local use are presented. While government must take responsibility for the poor policy framework, the research community is challenged on the need for scientific data as a base for effective policy formulation and implementation.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited