Nigerian Govt. approves 16-year Water Master Plan

Annual demand for water to increase from 5.93 billion cubic metres to 16.58 billion cubic metres by 2030.

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved a 16-year National Water Resources Master Plan to ensure proper management and development of the nation’s water resources.

The Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Ochekpe, said in Abuja that the master plan developed by the ministry in partnership with the Japan International Agency, would be implemented in three phases.

The first phase of the scheme would last between 2014 and 2020, while the second phase would be from 2021 to 2025, and the third phase from 2026 to 2030.

The master plan’s estimated that the country’s demand for water would increase from its current 5.93 billion cubic metres per year to 16.58 billion cubic metres in 2030.

Mrs. Ochekpe said the ministry got an approval for the National Water Resources Master Plan 2013 to ensure that the country’s water resources were properly managed.

“We have adequate supply and utilisation of water in the country in acceptable quality and standard and we have national coverage,” the minister said.

“Through the master plan, it is intended that we will be able to gather and collate appropriate information that will help in terms of hydrological, hydro-metrological and hydro-geological information management within each hydrological area and basin within the country.”

Mrs. Ochekpe said the plan also contains proposals on how to use water resources to mitigate the effect of climate change to support the development of irrigated agriculture in Nigeria.

She said that the master plan recognised the roles and responsibility of all stakeholders in the water sector and would ensure proper investment in the water resources development in the country.

The minister said that the master plan, which acknowledged the inadequacy of government funding of the water sector development, also proposed the commercialisation of water services to increase the revenue base of the sector for the maintenance facilities and development of new ones.

Mrs. Ochekpe said the plan also identified the private sector and the Public Private Partnership as additional sources of funding for the sector.

She said that donor agencies would complement the limited budgetary allocations from the Federal Government. (NAN)

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