The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has underscored the need for state governments to prioritise investment in the water sector, to achieve targets.
Adamu gave the advice at investiture ceremony of Mrs Chinwe Igwegbe, the 6th National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers (NIWE), on Saturday in Abuja.
The event with the theme: “Reconciling bragging rights with human rights in the Nigerian water sector development” was organised by NIWE, an arm of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE).
According to the minister, who was the Distinguished Guest at the event which also featured a public lecture, there is the need for collaboration between the States and the Federal Government to achieve Sustainable Development Goal, in terms of water supply.
Adamu said, “One of the key things that is affecting the water and sanitation sector in this country is the inability of the state government to invest in water.
“Everybody seems to put blame on the Federal Government, but the truth of the matter is that the Federal Government is not responsible for providing water for your taps.
“So, we need to work with the states; we need more states to invest in water and sanitation.
“The other issue is operational maintenance, the lack of investment on water and sanitation is a major problem.
“This is one area that I hope this institution (NIWE) and the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) will put heads together and increase awareness, to ensure states appreciate this,“ the minister said.
He further stressed the need for the Water Resources Bill to be passed to bring about reforms in nation’s water sector.
Also speaking at the event, the President of NSE, Babagana Mohammed, described Igwegbe as a professional capable of breaking new grounds in the institution.
According to him, Igwegbe is embarking on a mission that will define the extent of water sector, as a division of the NSE in the next two years.
“As the new chairman, your success will be measured in the amount of resources and professionalism in the water engineering in Nigeria.
“We will expect to see constructive contributions and development of specifications and standards in the water sector.
“To aid in surmounting the challenges of development in the country; there is no doubt in my mind that Igwegbe will surpass our expectations during her tenure,” Mohammed said.
Meanwhile, Igwegbe expressed appreciation to the institution for the confidence that has been reposed on her and assured the people that she would leave no stone unturned to ensure her success.
“I salute the visionary past chairmen of this great institution for their enormous contributions via selfless service.
“They charted the path we are enjoying till this day and have made my journey seem easy, although challenging.
“I have watched all the past chairmen spend their time and selflessly contributed in no small measures to the development of the institution,” Igwegbe said.
The high point of the event was the NIWE Fellowship conferred on the minister, the presentation of awards to outstanding engineers and the inauguration of the 2021 national executive of the institution.