By Princewill Ekwujuru
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has said that Nigeria needs to invest at least 1.7percent of its Gross Domestic product (GDP) annually to prevent Nigeria from becoming water stressed. NESG noted that currently over two billion people worldwide are living in places experiencing high water stress, adding that a third of the world’s biggest groundwater systems are already in distress and 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030.
Speaking at the launch of the United Nations (UN) Water CEO as part of preparation for the 26th Nigeria Economic Summit, Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, said the interest of the Group is in galvanizing the private sector to actively commit to improving water resources management for sustainable use for businesses and individual consumption.
He, however affirmed that Nigeria will need to invest at least 1.7 percent of her GDP, annually, to prevent Nigeria becoming water stressed.
Also speaking, Chairman, NESG, Mr. Asue Ighodalo said: “Nigeria is presently ranked as an economic water scarce country, due primarily to inadequate investments over time in the development and management of available water resources for our social, economic and environmental needs.
“If our current levels of investment and management of water resources remain the same, Nigeria may slip into the league of water stressed nations, due to expanding aggregate demand from an increasing population and heightened economic activities. This will negatively impact our lives, our businesses, and our economy”.
Minister for Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu, in his keynote address, said that there has been a decline in investment in water supply infrastructure by the state governments, therefore, there is a need for private sector participation.