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Government partners USAID, World Bank on urban water supply


Water Supply. Image source aurecongroup

Water Supply. Image source aurecongroup

THE Federal Government is partnering the World Bank and United State Agency for International Development (USAID) to improve service delivery in urban water supply.

The programme, being implemented under Sustainable Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA), is geared towards providing technical assistance and capacity building to promote water sector reforms.

At a training workshop on the commercialisation of urban water services in Nigeria, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Istifanus Fuktur, said the workshop aimed at equipping the participants with the required skills, knowledge, approaches and best practices for running water utilities sustainably.

He noted that the programme would train managers of water utilities on improved customer service, commercial efficiency, financial reporting, cost-reflective tariffs, reduced non-revenue water, cost savings and general efficiency for water service delivery.

Reiterating the ministry’s effort at supporting all capacity building to enhance the operations of state water utilities, he added: “We are also currently strengthening our oversight functions through the establishment of appropriate monitoring, evaluation and reporting platform to ensure that performing water utilities are promptly identified and recognised.”

Also, the Chief of Party, SUWASA, Dr. Dennis Mwanza, said the commercialisation of urban water services would basically introduce strategies and approaches in service delivery that would lead to cost recovery and improved access to water.

He stressed that commercialisation of urban water service should imply complete divorce of government subsidies, which presently are the main stay of most state water boards in the country.

To achieve this, “it is important to access the current financial health of the water utility, agree on a commercial approach that is relevant, sustainable and would lead to cost recovery,” he said.

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