The Federal Ministry of Water Resources on Wednesday called on the private sector to partner government in the provision of potable water. Mr Ajisegiri Benson, the Head of Water Sector Reform in the ministry made the call in Abuja at the ongoing Water Africa and West African Building and Construction Exhibition 2012.
He said “we want experts to take care of our water resources and private sector to assist us in developing the resources. “Nigeria needs adequate water supply to about 35 million people. In every small town, we have some 50,000 Nigerians and above. If we can join hands together and support ourselves, the problem will be solved.”
The water sector head said government required environmental and political support to achieve the core target. He added that most states would engage in Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy to create an enabling environment for effective water resources utilisation. Benson, however, said government needed to be committed and come up with clear specification of water output to make the collaboration a success.
Mr Abolade Lawal, who represented the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), said Nigeria’s major challenge was on sustainable water management. According to him, developing sustainable water supply system is a group trend because it serves people`s long term interest. He said that water management and development should involve stakeholders and experts who would raise adequate funds for urban water supply.
“Nigeria is blessed with abundant water resources but is facing particular problems which I may term to be the lack of implementation of projects. We have many abandoned water projects which require attention.
“Water supply facilities are expected to be expanded as cities expand in population and as the total capital consumption of water supply increases per day.’’ Mr Tayo Bakare, the National Secretary of Nigerian/German Alumni Improvement, urged the Federal Government to assist the private sector in creating an effective economy and sustainable water resources for the country. Bakare, who spoke on “The Role of Private Sector in Water Resource and Sanitation’’ urged industrialists to re-double their efforts in producing single sanitary product for water.