Nigerians can’t have free potable water- Minister

Water Resources Minister, Sarah Ochekpe

Sarah Ochekpe highlighted the successes of her ministry.

The Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, said on Monday that it will be impossible to have free potable water in Nigeria.

Speaking at the Ministerial platform in Abuja, Mrs. Ochekpe said it will not be possible to have potable water due to the cost of distribution and maintenance of equipment

“It is not possible for water to be free, because water is so expensive to process, there’s the use of reservoir, building treatment plants, chemicals, payment of professionals and also channeling water to homes; all these cost money,” Mrs. Ochekpe said

The minister also spoke on the river basins in various parts of Nigeria. She said they cannot be privatised because the lands do not belong to the Federal Government and cannot be taken away from the farmers. The federal government can only partner with private professionals to bring their expertise to strengthen the skills of the local farmers on irrigation, she said.

Mrs. Ochekpe said the government has done more in the past three years than in previous years in the use of irrigation to increase food production and enhance food security; and also completed nine additional dams in the country.

The minister also said that provision of water supply to rural and municipal areas is not a federal responsibility but that of states and local governments. She said the Federal Government has strengthened its relationship with states and local governments in water provision. She also discouraged the drilling of water boreholes by individuals to avoid sinking of the earth’s surface while she advised individuals to seek recommendations from drilling regulators before any water borehole drilling.

Mrs. Ochekpe identified challenges of her ministry as low budget, inadequate and untimely release of budget, and security challenges.

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