19 February 2013

Nigeria: FG Increases Investment in Water Sector - VP Sambo

Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo has reiterated Federal Government's commitment to upscale its investment and ensure maintenance of qualities and standards in the Water sector, while also assuring that government would be unrelenting in its determination to reform the sector.

Vice President Sambo stated this when he closed the two-day Presidential Summit on Water, with the theme "Innovative Funding of Water Sector," which held at the State House, Abuja, from Monday, February 18 to Tuesday, February 19.

"Within the ambit of the Transformation Agenda, we will take all measures to ensure that the policies as it pertains to the sector are careful enough to protect the interests and welfare of the most vulnerable groups within our society. This is to ensure that the resources are managed in a manner that favours the maintenance of the expected qualities and standards in portable water supply and water tariffs," he said.

The Vice President, acknowledging the fruitful conversations that took place between all stakeholders at the Summit also called for closer collaboration among the three tiers of government and other stakeholders to ensure proper and sustainable management of the country's water sector.

"What we now need is closer collaboration and synergy, especially sharing of responsibilities and delineation of roles between the Federal and other tiers of government, "the Vice President said.

Arc Sambo, maintained that the private sector had remained the greatest ally of government in its Transformation Agenda, and assured that government would put in place the necessary mechanism in terms of regulation and institutional framework for the private sector to participate in the water economy.

"We have proven this recently in the cement production sector. Today we produce the total cement demand of our nation through establishing the right enabling environment for our resilient Nigeria private sector."

He used the opportunity to salute the development partners for their contribution towards the realisation of government's efforts at reforming the water sector.

Speaking further the Vice President said "as assured earlier by Mr. President the outcome of this Summit will be carefully studied and implemented with set timelines and measurable outcome as we count on your continued role."

The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, in her remarks expressed gratitude to President Jonathan and Vice President Sambo on their determination to leave worthy legacies in the water sector. She used the opportunity to call on all Nigerians to take advantage of the Memorandum of Understating signed between the Ministry and the Bank of Industry for the provision of access to financing particularly to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the Water Sector.

She also urged the youths to key into the Graduate Irrigation Scheme which was a partnership between the Ministry and an Israeli firm. The pilot scheme which would be launched by President Goodluck Jonathan in March 2013 will commence with the Gurara Dam with an initial 400 youths.

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