- I consider it an honour and privilege to be here today for the 28 th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources holding here in Abuja, our nation’s beautiful capital city.
- It is my pleasure, therefore, on behalf of the FCT Administration and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory to welcome Council members, officials and other stakeholders, who have journeyed from across Nigeria to be here for this important convergence.
- Permit me, also, to extend my appreciation to the Honourable Minister of Water Resources for the choice of Abuja as host city for this meeting as this choice, further enhances the credentials of Abuja as a growing conference tourism city in Nigeria and indeed on the African continent.
- Hon Chairman, members of Council, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the provision of clean, safe, potable water to the citizenry is very high on the development agenda of the Federal Government under His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari GCFR and the challenges in meeting the demands in this sector prompted the declaration of the State of Emergency in the water sector in 2018.
- This is to ensure that ample attention, implementable policies and adequate resources are allocated to this sector to meet the demands of the citizenry.
- However, the water sector is faced with old and emerging challenges that have prevented us from meeting our targets in this sector.
- Providing infrastructure for modern water supply is very capital intensive and requires both infrastructural and financial management skills of the managers in the sector to effectively meet these emerging and evolving challenges. That is why the theme for this year’s Council which is “Emerging Financial and Management Challenges for Sustainable Water Infrastructure in Nigeria” is not only germane but is equally coming at the right time.
- Here in the FCT we are working assiduously to meet the potable water needs of the residents of the city as we also confront the challenges of inadequate budgetary provisions in the face of rising demands, orchestrated by a population explosion in the nation’s capital.
- While we will continue to work to complete on-going projects such as the Greater Abuja Water supply project which is a bilateral initiative to enhance water supply to 33 Districts in the FCT as contained in the 2022 national priority budget, we are also embarking on initiatives that will involve a greater participation of the organized private sector.
- Just last week, I had the privilege of performing the ceremonial site hand over of the Gwagwa District Development under the Land for Infrastructure Swap programme.
- This programme will see participating company provide world class infrastructure which will include infrastructure for water supply within the district in an arrangement that will benefit both parties at no cost to the government, thus, providing a win-win result for all, especially the ordinary citizens of our country.
- It is our expectations that the National Council on Water Resources which is the highest forum for policy/ decision making in the water sector will evolve strategies to meet the challenges in the water sector across the country and we eagerly await the outcome of this meeting to enable us also meet the water needs of the people of the FCT.
- It is on this note that I once again welcome you to Abuja and wish you a productive gathering.
- Thank you for your kind attention and may God bless us all.