Daily Trust (Abuja)

31 January 2013

Nigeria: FG, World Bank Partner On Water Access

The Federal government has reiterated its determination to collaborate with the World Bank in improving Nigerians access to clean and safe water, Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Reng Ochekpe has said.

Ochekpe said at a one-day workshop on sustainable service delivery and good governance project in the water sector that the collaboration would bring about quality water supply.

The workshop tagged 'Championing Water Utility Reform' is expected to boost the performance of the sector and bridge the gap between of water utility.

She said "the current performance of the sector calls for concerted efforts that would bring about the necessary change in a radical way in accordance with the transformation agenda. We are intensifying efforts to reform this sector of the economy for sustainable service delivery."

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Ambassador Godknows Igali said the collaboration would bring about a much needed reform that would assist in the effective water utilization.

Head of Water Sector Reform and Public Private Partnership, Engineer Benson Ajisegiri said the challenges of the sector such as infrastructure, adequate operation and maintenance would be given priority in the project.

World Bank Country Director, Ms Francoise Maria-Nelly said the bank would support any initiative of government that would help reposition the water sector.

She the low level of water access in Nigeria was unacceptable and one of the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa with a potable water figure of about 58 percent.

"The access to water in Nigeria is about 58 per cent and this is the lowest in Africa. We have identified the challenges in the water sector and some of them include funding, low accountability and capacity and these are what we shall discuss at this workshop," she said.

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