31 January 2013

Nigeria: World Bank Collaborates With Ministry On Water Sector Reforms

Abuja — The World Bank, Nigeria Country Office has indicated its readiness to work more closely with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR) in the areas of irrigation, water supply and reforms in the water sector.

The Country Director of World Bank in Nigeria, Maria Francoise Maria-Nelly, disclosed this at a meeting with the officials of the Federal Ministry led by the Minister, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, at the Bank's office in Abuja.

The minister, while thanking the Bank for its support to the Water Sector Reform process, she informed the meeting that the ministry was doing all within its powers to promote synergy among the three tiers of government, and also get the private sector involved in various water projects.

Ochekpe indicated that the Federal Government has been bridging the gap in access to water by repairing the dysfunctional boreholes in the rural areas and getting community ownership of such projects for sustainability.

The minister presented the upcoming Presidential Summit on Water aims at exploring alternative sources of funding for water projects. "Despite the fact that water is a social commodity, we need to look at the economic potentials of the commodity", she said.

She noted that the federal government has recorded success story in the rehabilitation of dysfunctional boreholes aside from the provision of bulk water to many of the States for treatment, reticulation and distribution, which is one of the mandates of the Ministry.

She informed the meeting that funding has been major constraints in providing potable water to the people; hence the need to explore the sources of funding.

The Country Representative encouraged the Ministry to focus on irrigation of dry lands across the country in order to increase available land for cultivation.

She said the Bank would deploy all the necessary expertise to ensure that the water sector reform process is concluded and implemented.

Ochekpe was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Godknows Igali and other Directors.

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