By Kingsley Adegboye
Against the backdrop of numerous challenges facing provision of water in Nigeria, Minster of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, an engineer and a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, weekend revealed his ministry’s plans to boost water supply in the country.
Adamu who disclosed this at the 2018 Annual Lecture and Investiture ceremony organised by the Nigerian Academy of Engineering in Lagos spoke on Current developments in Nigeria’s Water Resources Sector.
The minister who was represented by Prof. Emmanuel Ada Adanu, noted that the country’s water sector has been going through challenges which have resulted to inadequate provision of potable water to Nigerians.
Nevertheless, the minister revealed that one of the plans by his ministry to boost the water sector is to pursue final passage of the National Water Resources Bill into law and ensure its implementation along with all other approved policies in the sector by all stakeholders to engender best practices in Nigeria’s water governance.
He said the ministry will also continue with the implementation of ongoing projects as planned and re-prioritize as resources permit, with the aim of efficient delivery of the projects to ensure value for money and safeguard government’s investments, pointing out that “we will also ensure that future projects are only embarked upon in accordance with the provisions of the Water Resources Master-plan and after proper engineering designs and adequate project preparation.
The minister further informed that his ministry will pursue vigorously, the Action Plan on Water Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH, as approved by the Federal Executive Council and the PEWASH programme, to attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, of Access to Water Supply and Sanitation for all by Year 2030.”
The guest lecturer added that the ministry will equally implement the National Irrigation Development Programme of attaining additional 500,000 Ha by 2030 and facilitate development of additional 1,000,000 Ha by the private sector and state governments, stressing that they hope to deliver 42,000 Ha in 2018 and 41,000 ha in 2019.
According to him: “We will continue with reforms of the River Basin Development Authorities and ensure the implementation of their respective action plans so that they deliver on their mandate to boost agricultural production in the country and achieve integrated rural development.
“We will also continue our collaboration with the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC, in our efforts to save Lake Chad from extinction, thereby averting attendant ecological challenges and protecting the livelihood of over 40 million people who depend on it.
“We will also continue to collaborate with other riparian countries to ensure that Nigeria’s interests are not jeopardised. We will also conclude the organisational reforms of the ministry to strengthen it for effective service delivery.
“We will equally become more proactive and responsive to environmental challenges of degradation, deforestation, climate change etc. as they relate to water resources management in Nigeria.
“Additional strategies that have been adopted to enhance the sector and ensure efficient use of current and future investments include the following: adoption of renewable energy (solar) to power Water Supply and Irrigation facilities, adoption of drip irrigation to enhance water conservation and efficient irrigation practice.
“Others are promotion of Public Private Partnership, PPP, as an effective approach to increased investment in the sector and better service delivery and addressing the yet to be attended to challenges of waste management and water conservation in general,” Adamu disclosed.
In her welcome address, the immediate past president of the Academy, Engr. (Mrs.) Joanna Maduka said: “Today’s lecture is yet another opportunity for the Academy to address an issue of significant impact to our country’s socio-economic development. Specifically, the issue in focus is Current Development in Nigeria’s Water Resources Sector.”
Our choice of this topic is in furtherance of our avowed commitment to positively impact our economy and the social life of Nigerians”.