FG says Nigeria needs N6trn to meet water infrastructure demand

water resource

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, says Nigeria needs about N6 trillion to meet the demands for water supply infrastructure in the country.

Adamu said this yesterday, at the 28th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources, in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the minister listed major challenges facing the sustainable development of the water sector as funding, poor water governance, and obsolete infrastructure amongst others.

He said the meeting was an opportunity to discuss developments in the water sector, evaluate issues, address identified challenges and chart a way forward towards resolving contemporary challenges.

Speaking on the theme, “Emerging Financial and Management Challenges for Sustainable Water Infrastructure in Nigeria,” Adamu said a review of water governance, sustainable financing, and pricing for water services are being considered.

He said resolutions from the last council meeting saw the need for states to key into the current Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) initiative of the Federal Government.

This, he noted, is being piloted in some states in a performance approach through the provision of a separate budget line in the state rural agency of water supply and sanitation agencies.

He added that the World Bank had committed $700 million to support Nigeria in its National WASH Action Plan towards the revitilisation of the sector through the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply and sanitation Hygiene (SURWASH) programme.

“SURWASH is expected to provide six million people with basic drinking water services, and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.

“The programme will deliver improved WASH services to 2,000 schools and healthcare facilities and assist communities to achieve open defecation-free status.”

SURWASH is expected to provide six million people with basic drinking water services, and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.

Water mapping, sanitation

Earlier, UNICEF WASH Manager, Oumar Dombouya, said the 2019 National Outcome Routine Mapping of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Service Levels (WASH-NORM), showed that 30% of the people in Nigeria (60 million people) do not have access to clean water.

He noted that UNICEF had been giving support to change this narrative through Village Level Operation and Maintenance to improve functionality and sustainability of water facilities across the country.

Dombouya pledged the commitment of the UN body to support durable and cost effective interventions towards making the country meet its SDG target by 2030.

National Consultant, Public Health and Environment, representing the WHO Nigeria Country Representative, Dr Edwin Isotu-Edeh, said it was worrisome that one in three persons still lack access to basic drinking water globally.

He said there was a need to democratise access to WASH services in the county, saying states must emulate what was being done at the federal level to ensure sustainability.

“States can emulate what is being done by the federal government, and all stakeholders ought to put water as a key component of all interventions.”

Also, the FCT Minister, Dr Mohammed Bello, represented by Olusade Adesola, said the provision of clean and safe drinking water to FCT residents was a top priority of the Federal Government through the FCT Administration.

He listed challenges of population explosion, inadequate funding amongst others, saying implementable policies were underway to address them.

“The water sector is faced with old and emerging challenges that have prevented us from achieving our target in this sector, as providing infrastructure for regular water supply is very capital intensive.

He added that the administration was also carrying out activities to improve access to potable water supply for the FCT residents in partnership with the organised private sector.

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