Tackling water supply problem in Nigeria




Before the coming of the administration of Muhammadu Buhari May 29, 2015, water sector in Nigeria was in critical condition because of the problems militating against effective performance of urban water institutions in Nigeria. It will suffice to indicate that both the poor performance and the causes are common phenomenon and comparable with what has been reported in several developing countries. Other variety of factors constraining water supply manifest in poor funding, inadequate data on operation and maintenance; insufficient and inefficient use of funds; poor management of water supply facilities; inappropriate system design; low profile of operation and maintenance; inadequate policies, legal frameworks and overlapping responsibilities political interference and technical standing of the agencies, as well as corruption and absence of clear institutional objectives.

The responsibility of water supply in Nigeria is shared between three tiers of government – federal, state and local. While the federal government is in charge of water resources management and state governments have the primary responsibility for urban water supply through state water agencies, local governments together with communities are responsible for rural water supply. The Federal Ministry of Water Resources is created to provide sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to meet the cultural and socio-economic needs of all Nigerians in a way that will enhance public health, food security and poverty reduction, while maintaining the integrity of fresh water ecosystem of the nation. It has mandates for formulation and implementation of water resources policy programme, development and support for irrigated agriculture for food security,  collection, storage, analysis and dissemination of hydro-meteorological and hydrological data,  Monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes for effective performance, supply of adequate and potable water for domestic and industrial uses, provision of adequate sanitation and maintenance of water quality, exploration and development of undergrounded water resources, formulation and review, from time to time, of National water legislation,  liaison with all relevant national and international agencies on all matters relating to water resources development; and support of studies and research on the nation’s underground and surface water resources potentials.

However, the mission of the ministry is to provide sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to meet the socio-economic needs of all Nigerians through efficient water resources management for basic human needs, irrigated agriculture, hydropower generation for national food security, promote healthy population, while maintaining the integrity of fresh water bodies. The ministry is also the vehicle of the nation’s water resources management for optimal socio-economic activities through comprehensive planning for integrated conservation, development and management of various water uses. It is to preserve the quantity and quality of fresh water for improved ecosystem and environmental protection as well as facilitate adequate access to safe water and sanitation nationwide. It laid emphasis on the development of irrigated agriculture for food security and sustainable livelihoods and above all, to ensure equitable allocation of all the aforementioned amongst all riparian communities locally and internationally.

It is pertinent to note that good governance in Nigeria today is by the quality of good leadership of President Buhari who promotes accountability, transparency, rule of law and participation which are essential prerequisites in creating and sustaining enabling environments for economic growth and development in Nigeria. It is interestingly to note that the president utilised the cognate experience of Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu as a good material, a very good resource person and very hard working and talented in the country as he is always have zeal and confident repose on him related to national development. He has proven beyond reasonable doubt that, being a manager, a professional engineer and leader of people and from all positions he has held in different capacities rare leadership qualities, entrusted and tested. There is no gain saying the fact that Engr. Suleiman Adamu unveiled a comprehensive development framework for the water sector in the country.

It is on record that the ministry of water resources has executed numerous projects from 2015 to 2019 in all the six geo-political zones. For example, in Jigawa, the home state of Engr. Suleiman Adamu, the projects are very vast. They include N9bn Hadejia- Jamaare- Komadugu, Hadejia Valley irrigation, and N7bn Gari irrigation scheme. These are projects linked between Kano and Jigawa states are on site for the project. There is also the Gagarawa sugarcane plantation/sugarcane factory. This is in line with efforts by the Hon. Minister of water resources to fast track the issuance of water uptake license to LEE Company that is executing.

However, there are over 150 solar based boreholes constructed in the state, in which the most recent ones have just been completed, 50 of them are modern, and three people were trained on how to operate and to ensure security and safety of the facilities. His immense contribution towards bringing positive development strides has of course impacted in a more desirable manner to every nook and cranny of his domain as they are now wearing a new look as a result of the unprecedented infrastructural revolution introduced by the Engr. Suleiman Adamu  over time . His philanthropic gesture cuts across every sector of human endeavour. He received a considerable number of attention from this god sent son of ours. He employed over 50 graduates in various ministries, parastatals and agencies in the federal civil service and also he sponsored over 10 Jigawa state indigenes who are currently studying in China in various field of engineering, medicine and 20 are on the process for the scholarship.

The minister’s support for Kazaure emirate’s mega water project for Amaryawa, Kazaure and Roni local government is unique. He also facilitates youth/women empowerment, and he personally used to pay registration for students and settles medical bills for the less privileged people in the state, Ecological fund project of Kazaure, Sabaru village to Karkarna in Yankwashi local government area are among his laudable efforts to enhance the living standard of the people. I hope President Buhari will continue to support the minister and his ministry of water resources to in order to achieve the desired goals.

Andu writes from Kazaure, Jigawa state

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