The Federal Government has reiterated its unflinching commitment to ensure that Nigerians have easy access to safe water.
Mrs Didi Walson-Jack, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, gave this assurance on Thursday, January 20, 2022, in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
She spoke at the opening ceremony of the national sensitisation workshop on the 2013 National Water Resources Master Plan and UN Water Convention, for stakeholders in Southwest geo-political zone.
The ongoing two days workshop is holding at the University of Ibadan Hotel, Ibadan.
According to her, the Water Resource Master Plan is a document which helps to ensure that water resources in Nigeria are developed and managed.
She said the aim was to ensure that Nigerians would have access to safe water
“It is about managing water resources in an integrated version.
“This sensitisation for the key stakeholders is a technical meeting that will be followed by another process to ensure that implementation of the 2013 Water Master Plan is seamless.
“The stakeholders at the meeting are from the three tiers of government, because water is actually the business of both the state and local governments.
“Then, Federal Government comes in as intervention to support what the state and local governments are doing as regards water,” Walson-Jack said.
She said that increase in water demand due to population growth was a notable issue confronting the development and management of the nation’s water resources.
“Among other challenges are uncoordinated water resources development among the three tiers of government, development partners and end users; also, uneven distribution of rainfall across the country.
“This has led to over abstraction of groundwater resources in some parts of the country in addition to the impact of climate change,” the permanent secretary said.
She said that the workshop would also be used to sensitise the participants on the need for Nigeria to accede to the UN Water Convention.
“UN Water Convention is a convention on the protection and use of trans-boundary watercourse and international lakes.
“The convention is a legal document which aims to promote international cooperation on the use of trans-boundary waters in a reasonable, equitable and sustainable way,” Walson-Jack said.
In his welcome address, Mr Shaaban Obatade, who represented the Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources at the event, said the workshop was a testimony of the need to preserve and rescue the nation’s water resources.
Obatade said that the prevalent extreme weather conditions, which led to climate change, was having its effects ravaging the whole world.
He acknowledged the inestimable value and contributions of a development partner, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for efforts made in partnering with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in ensuring that the master plan was developed.
One of the stakeholders, Mr Michael Ale, the National President, Association of Well Drilling Rig Owners Practitioners (AWDROP), commended the Federal Government for the workshop.
Ale urged the government to see how it could find a way to review the existing document and make it adaptable to the current situation.
He said that a lot of things must have changed between 2013 and 2022.
Participants were drawn from the six states in the South-West, namely Oyo, Osun, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti.
By David Adeoye