The Guardian reports that the minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has blamed inadequate supply of potable water in the country on the high foreign exchange rate, which has also resulted in the increasing cost of water equipment.
The Guardian reports that the minister, who spoke at the Water Africa and West Africa Building and Construction Exhibition and Seminar held at the International Conference Centre yesterday in Abuja said prior to the introduction of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), government used to invest in water schemes, but since the adjustment of the foreign exchange rate, the cost of water equipment has gone up.
Adamu said that many states are finding it difficult to invest in water schemes because of the high cost of equipments, as 60 per cent of the schemes depend on forex.
According to Adamu, he was in a community in Kano State, and was surprised to notice that inspite of a big river being close to them, the state government could not provide the needed water, thus, making the entire community had to depend on borehole.
He, however, appealed to water engineers to work out models to scale down the price of the equipments so as to assist government in the provision of potable water to the people, urging the investors to set up their water assembly plants in Nigeria, as there is a huge market for water facilities in the country.
The minister disclosed that the ministry was working towards the quick passage of the Water Bill, which would become a regulatory framework for the private sector and the drilling industry.
He also disclosed plans to set up a water equipment and validation unit in the ministry that would be working with the Standards Organisation of Nigeria to regulate and evaluate importation of water equipment so that the country does not become a dumping ground for all sorts of equipments.
He attributed the failure of water schemes in the countr to poor planning and management, stressing the need to ensure that professionals are attracted into the sector to ensure that the right equipments are used in the drilling of boreholes.
In addition, The Guardian reports that the representative of Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Chike Anikanmadu, in his remark, said cost is very expedient and there is need to make cost of building very affordable to people. He equally noted that there is need to domesticate adopted technology and promote home grown technology.
He said the infrastructure deficit in several sectors of the economy is a recurring concern in the developing world, adding that inadequate water supply, housing and related infrastructure ranks very high in everyday discourse.
He said in view of the prevailing economic circumstances of the nation, government was developing an operational plan that would not only update a preferred list of priority projects, but would also ensure their delivery in a sequence that could guarantee optimal benefit to the people.
Source: The Guardian