Access to portable water is something every Nigerian is entitled to. The reality, though, is that millions of Nigerians have no access to portable water. The rural areas are usually the worst hit by this problem. Even in urban areas, access to portable water is dwindling with negative consequences to many aspects of Nigerian life. However, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu has explained how the FG proposes to reform the sector to meet with the demands of Nigerians. He did this in a public presentation of the water sector road map. The road map is entitled ‘Immediate and Long-term Strategies for Water Sector- 2016-2030’
He stated that there were about 116 water projects currently ongoing in the country. However, these projects would require about 505.6 billion Naira to complete them. Some of these projects have been lying idle for over 15 years. This was because outstanding fees to contractors as at end of last year stood at N88.8 billion. He further explained that this sum was divided between the ministry’s projects and the River Basin Development Agency projects.
This administration, thus, is going to ensure that these projects are completed before starting new ones. He stated that a systematic approach would be used to determine the order of completing these projects. The criteria that would inform the prioritization of projects would include stage of completion, cost, period of abandonment, impact on citizens and overall project viability.
With these steps, the Minister believes that the currently over 52 million Nigerians without access to portable water supply would be covered before 2030, when the Sustainable Development Goals are expected to have been met. This, he said, would have other implications for Nigerians. First, improved access to portable water would result in better sanitation and health. Secondly, the hydroelectric power supply would be increased and the country would enjoy better power supply.
News Team/The Nation Nigeria