Lagos International Water Conference: FG Calls For More Public Private Partnership Investment In The Water And Sanitation Sector To Achieve Sustainable And Equitable Access To Water And Sanitation Services For Nigerians

The Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Babajide Sanwoolu, during the Conference
The Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Babajide Sanwoolu, during the Conference

The Honourable Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation Engr Professor Joseph Terlumun Utsev has called for a rubost Public Private Partnership investment in the water sector to achieve sustainable and equitable access to water and sanitation services for Nigerians.

Professor Utsev who made the call today at the 5th Lagos State International Water Conference at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos particularly urged state Governors, development partners and the private sector to prioritise more investment in the sector stressing that the Federal Government will continue to support the states through interventions to achieve access to clean and safe water and improve sanitation for all.

He pointed out that Lagos being the most populous and economically vibrant city in the country was still grappling with significant challenges in providing adequate water and sanitation services for its teaming population stressing that such public private partnership will ensure a robust collaboration between government agencies and private sector to invest more resources in the water sector.

According to the Minister, the PPPs can also attract private investment, improve efficiency and ensure sustainable service delivery while the government can leverage on private sector expertise and capital to upgrade existing water infrastructure and expand coverage to underserved areas.

Professor Utsev also advocated community based organisations that would mobilise resources and implement low-cost, decentralised solutions tailored to local needs especially in areas of operation and maintenance .

Highlighting the importance of international development assistance, Professor Utsev said such partnership was also key in financing water and sanitation projects in Nigeria noting that the multilateral organisations, bilateral donors and development agencies were also important in providing grants, loans and technical assistance to support water infrastructure development.

On the issue of Cholera outbreak in the country the Water Resources and Sanitation Minister said his ministry has taken proactive steps to prevent further spread of the water borne disease in the country including reactivation of the ministry’s laboratories across the six geopolitical zones of the country, massive sensitization of citizens on the need to improve on personal hygiene, ensure that every water meant for use is properly treated or boiled while foods and vegetables are also cooked before consumption.

Professor Utsev also called on State Governors, traditional and religious leaders rulers to scale up campaign against open defecation in their states and build more decent toilets for their people to discourage the practice of open defecation to enable the country achieve open defecation free target by next year.

Speaking at the conference, Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu said his administration has in the last five years, been committed to addressing the water needs of his citizens .

Governor Sanwo-Olu however said despite his concerted efforts, there was still a huge gab in achieving access to clean and safe water for his people and called for more genuine and practical actions and support from the Federal Government and development partners as well as other critical stakeholders in the water and sanitation sector to address the water needs in the country especially in Lagos State.

The three day International Conference with the theme: Financing Water and Sanitation for a Greater Lagos featured presentations from Counsel General of Denmark in Lagos Mrs Jette Bjerrum, USAID and other development partners.

Terhemen Oraduen
Personal Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Honourable Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation.