(Water Resources Ministry News) The Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Reng Ochekpe has said that the Nigerian Government is committed to active involvement in the pursuit of varied reforms towards ensuring adequate development of the water sector in accordance to the Transformation Agenda.
Sarah Reng Ochekpe who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Baba Umar Faruk made this known at the launching ceremony of the “Water Operators Partnership Nigeria Platform” with the theme: “Partnership for Utility Viability and Improved Water Supply Service Delivery” held in Abuja on January 30, 2014.
The Minister said that the UN World Water Development Project has reported that the economic loss in Africa alone due to lack of access to safe water and basic sanitation is estimated at about $28.4 billion a year in which Nigeria has the largest share of the loss. She expressed fears that the continuous delay in sectoral development would only make the loss larger.
She also averred the hope that the WOP-Nigeria would greatly contribute to addressing the noticeable sector challenges; adding that the launch of the WOP-Nigeria platform was quite crucial as it would focus on performance appraisal and benchmarking of the water agencies towards improving their efficiencies and effectiveness.
She further espoused gratitude to the Africa Water Association, the Water Operators’ Partnership of Africa and USAID for packaging and funding the establishment of Water Operators’ Partnership in Nigeria. She called on the Nigeria Water Supply Association (NWSA) to ensure sustainability for the initiative through conscientious and vigorous pursuit of enunciated activities to serve as encouragement towards developing the water sector.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the NWSA Planning Committee, Olusola Suulola noted that the workshop has brought together different actors in the local water sector as well as the international partners of the WOP-Africa programme. He explained that the objectives of the workshop include the official launch of the Nigeria WOP Platform; enlightening the Nigerian Water and Sanitation Operators on the WOP-Africa, its management tools and procedures and exposing the preeminent trends in the water supply sector in Nigeria as well as the planned activities for 2014 among others.
“It is envisaged that with the active involvement of all participants, the objectives will be achieved at the end of the workshop,” he observed.
The National President of the Nigeria Water Supply Association, Eugene Pam thanked the Minister as well as representatives of International Development Agencies and Programmes for unflinching supports to the association; saying their efforts will improve performance and service delivery in the nation’s water sector.
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