The Federal Government of Nigeria in Partnership with Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) has organized a workshop to train State Water Utility Operators on commercialization of Urban Water Service in Nigeria.
The essence of the commercialization of Urban Water service is to sustain provision of water supply to the communities through cost recovery.
In his opening address at the workshop, on Monday, March 16, 2015, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mr.Musa Istifanus represented by Director, Water Supply in the Ministry, Engr. Rufus Onyeanusi said that the objective of the workshop is to empower participants with knowledge approaches on commercialization process.
He said, “ The Objectives of this workshop amongst which is to equip participants with the required skills, knowledge , approaches and best practice for running water utilities sustainably is very apt, judging from the reported poor commercial performance of most of the Water Utilities in our country”
“ I have no doubt that the knowledge to be acquired in this workshop in the areas of improved customer services, commercial efficiency, financial reporting, cost reflective tariffs reduced non- revenue water, cost saving and general efficiency for water service delivery will greatly impact on the activities of water Utilities” he added.
Mr. Istifanus assured the participants that the Ministry would support all efforts in capacity building that will enhance the operation of State Water Utility for sustainable water delivery to the citizenry.
In his presentation, the Chief of Party, SUWASA, Mr. Dennis Mwanza said that commercialization of the water sector will introduce strategies in the service that would lead to cost recovery and improved access to water.
He said that in order for commercialization to take effect, it is important to access the current financial situation of the water utility, agree on a commercial approach that is relevant and sustainable that will lead to cost recovery.
In his remarks, the Head of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the Ministry, Engr. Benson Ejisegiri said that though water is free but the service to provide water to the people require funds and until this is made available either by government or through tariffs, it would be difficult to provide sustainable service delivery of water and sanitation to the people.
He said that the workshop is designed to enhance the participants to treat water as economic commodity as it involves cost. He advised them on the need to generate revenue that could be used in the operation and maintenance of the water facilities.
SUWASA, an agency under USAID was launched in 2009 with the aim of transforming the delivery of urban water and sanitation service through cost recovery. The programme provides technical assistance and capacity building to promote excellence in water supply delivery . SUWASA Africa regional office is in Nairobi, Kenya.
Ogundoro Modupe (Mrs.)