Governments crippling access to potable water, sanitation ―FG

Engr. Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Water Resources.

The Federal Government has stated that the State and Local Governments are crippling Nigeria’s access to potable water and sanitation.

It said the two tiers of government have failed to invest in the area of water supply and sanitation.

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu stated this in an interview with Tribune Online yesterday.

Adamu, who blamed Nigeria’s failure to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on lack of long term strategic planning on the part of the States, among other factors stressed the need for the States to do more in terms of water and sanitation.

He maintained that the States and Local Governments are solely responsible for the provision of water for consumers and not the Federal Government as widely perceived adding that the Federal Government is only meant to support.

“We want to ginger the States because essentially I want people to always remember that the responsibility for providing water supply to consumers rests with the States and Local government not a federal government responsibility.  Our responsibility is to provide bulk water which they can now tap and use to treat water and collect revenue in the various towns and villages.

“The states have not been able to do this and most of the failure to meet the MDGs was because the States did not invest as much as they should invest in the area of water supply and sanitation,” he said.

The Minister accused States of resorting to quick win methods of water supply to its citizens by drilling boreholes which do not stand the test of time.

His words: “I still put the blames most on them because they don’t plan their water schemes they are always looking for quick fixes. So instead of the government coming to invest the four-year or six-year development plan for water, they will rather do boreholes here and there so that they can get quick wins as you will call them but are not useful in the long run, they come and commission with a lot of fanfare every politician wants to commission his own project within his tenure.

“I say this is very wrong, communities are there forever and are expanding in terms of population. You should be thinking medium to long term in our planning for water resources development.”

However, he noted that the drive to ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) had led to the introduction of the new Partners for Expanded Water Supply Sanitation and Hygiene (PEWASH) initiative to provide support for the States.

He said this will involve a joint investment on the part of the Federal Government and the States.

“So, we have introduced the PEWASH the idea behind the PEWASH is that the Federal Government will support but not a hundred percent support. We are supporting but we are saying the States should do more so it is a conditional thing.

“If the states are ready to invest more, then the Federal government will put a matching investment. This is just to stimulate them to make sure that they are alive to their responsibilities.

“we want states to go back to long term strategic planning not the same way we are doing the road map because it is not about Buhari’s administration, Buhari’s administration may last maximum of 8 years but we are putting a 15-year plan so that subsequent administration will come and see a plan on ground that is already existing and just continue and to improve on it until we get to where we want to go.”

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