Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The forex scarcity is taking a toll on water scheme projects as the federal government said that between 60-70 percent of such projects needs foreign exchange to be successfully executed.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, stated this at the opening ceremony of 2016 edition of Water Africa and West Africa building and construction exhibition and seminar in Abuja, with the theme, “Infrastructure Challenges Facing Nigeria in the 21st Century”, organised by M/S ACE Events Management of the United Kingdom.
According to the minister, this is why it is becoming difficult for state governments to provide water to semi-urban areas.
The minister lamented what it described as huge percentage of failed water projects across the country and vowed that the ministry will not allow it to continue.
Adamu also stressed the need for a regulatory framework that will enable private sector take part in developing the water sector, especially in the areas of generation and distribution.
The minister also pointed out that efforts of the ministry were geared towards rejuvenating and redirecting river basin authorities to deliver expected goals.
“Plans were on to commercialise the river basins in the country so that they did not depend on government anymore,” he stated.
The minister who expressed concern about inefficient power supply said his ministry was in the process of creating a unit to evaluate equipment being used for water projects, and said that it was already working with Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure that the country did not become dumping ground for all sorts of equipment that were not useful for the water sector.
He said steps were being taken to look for where to get more energy-efficient equipment to power water equipment in the country.
According to him, “There is potential for new equipment and I hope this conference can take up the challenge on ways to deliver affordable water. There is huge market for the