Nigeria restates commitment to provide potable water by 2030

Na'ankwat Dariem, Abuja

Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, has restated the Federal Governments’ commitment towards increasing access to potable water for all Nigerians by 2030.

Adamu stated this on the sidelines of the just concluded sixth Africa water Week in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

He said that without universal access to safe water and sanitation, poverty and inequality cannot be eradicated in any country.

“We are working to ensure that all Nigerians have access to potable water by 2030 through urban water sector reform programme. We realise that implementing the first and second urban water reform programmes have resulted in moderate success and improved piped water supply and if we put in more effort, we can achieve more.”He explained.

Adamu also noted that the results from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) showed that Nigeria was not able to meet its target due to sole reliance on budgetary allocation. He said Nigeria would soon launch the National Programme on Partnerships for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH), aimed at meeting Sustainable Development Goal 6 on universal access to water and sanitation.

This programme, according to the Minister, is intended to be a partnership between the three tiers of government, development partners and communities to commit funds and mobilise towards meeting SDG 6 by 2030.

“We have also realised that one of the reasons why Nigeria failed to meet the MDGs was because we have been relying only on budgetary allocation from the three tiers of government. Due to dwindling resources, there is a huge challenge of scaling up and this is why we must include all other stakeholders”

He explained that Nigeria needed to take the lead on its issues, rather than relying only on development partners; adding that Nigeria would do everything possible to reform the water sector because of its centrality to health, agriculture, and other areas of development.

He emphasised the need for attitudinal change toward public utilities, saying Nigeria must begin to see the importance of paying for water consumed

Meanwhile, civil society organisations under the banner of Africa civil society Network on Water and sanitation (ANEW), called for an ambitious roadmap to achieve sustainable development goals on water and sanitation as necessary for national development plans of African countries.

Presenting a statement to African Governments through the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), the coalition highlighted the urgent need to prioritise water sanitation and hygiene if nations are to achieve Africa’s vision of optimising resources for all Africans and leaving no one behind.

Representing WaterAid CEO Barbara Frost, Head of WaterAid East Africa Region Lydia Zigomo challenged governments and stakeholders to utilise the 6th Africa Water Week to agree on a roadmap that will ensure transformational change.

“It cannot be business as usual; we need to increase the pace at all levels in order to reach everyone everywhere in Africa by 2030,” remarked Zigomo.

The 6th Africa Water Week (AWW-6), organised by African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve SDG 6 as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management.