Nigeria calls for investment in Water Sector

Na’ankwat Dariem and Chioma Eche, Abuja

The Nigerian government has called for an inclusive investment of all tiers of governments as the nation strives to meet its target on the sustainable development goals (SDG) on water and sanitation.

Minister of water resources, Engineer Suleiman Adamu made the call at the 23rd regular meeting of the national council on water resources.

Engineer Suleiman said the call was based on the inability of the country to meet the MDG target of 75% for improved water supply and sanitation coverage by the year 2015 due to low funding and lack of proper framework for its implementation.

While stating that the theme; “Refocusing Water and Sanitation for Achieving Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria”, is a clarion call for the three tiers of government to work together to facilitate the realization of the SDGs in the sector.

“Let me reiterate at this juncture that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari places high premium on the provision of water and sanitation to Nigerians in an affordable and sustainable manner through participatory investment by all levels of Government and the private sector,” the minister said.

The present Change Agenda of the present administration has laid emphasis on improved agricultural production through irrigation and increase in energy generation especially through hydro Power generation.

To this end, Adamu stated that the Ministry is collaborating with the Ministry of Power and relevant agencies including international organizations to release these goals.

He explained that the expected outcome of the current reforms in the sector would address the issue of unemployment through jobs creation as well as reduce the dependence on crude oil to stimulate economic growth and development.

Water and Sanitation
In an address, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Rabi Jimeta, emphasized on the issue of Water and Sanitation and the challenges was something that needed the concerted efforts and consensus building within the three tiers of government for the transformation of the water sector.

She therefore urged the participants to bring to bear their wealth of experiences from their different states and sectors,  in ensuring that the memos presented are given proper consideration and approval where necessary, to enable the sector move forward.

In a goodwill message, UNESCO’s Science Adivser, Dr. Simone Grego while promising that UNESCO would continue to increase its support to the Ministry, particularly in ensuring that the nation meets the SDG target on water and sanitation, stated that, “To address the many challenges related to water supply, we must work in a spirit of urgent cooperation, open to new ideas and innovation, and prepared to share the solutions that we all need for a sustainable future.

 “If we do so, we can end poverty, promote global prosperity and well-being, protect the environment and withstand the threat of climate change”.

On his part, the Representative of Africa Development Bank Mr Tom Magoyia said the organization will continue to assist Nigeria in the area of intervention Funds in the area of Water supply and sanitation.

AFDB will continue to assist the Nigerian government through Intervention fund.  The Bank is to assist in the rehabilitation in the north-east in the area of clean water and sanitation. We already have intervention project in 14 states and we are hoping to expand to 8 more states in the Nigeria. He explained.

Confidence O.