Federal Government urged to invest 1.7% of GDP in water sector
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), yesterday, urged the Federal Government to invest at least 1.7 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) yearly to prevent water shortage by 2030.
Chairman of NESG, Asue Ighodalo, stated this at a virtual meeting of the group, noting that Nigeria was currently ranked as a country with potential water scarcity due to inadequate investments in the development and management of water resources for its socio-economic and environmental needs.
Ighodalo, who spoke on the sidelines of the launch of United Nations CEO Water Mandate in Nigeria, which was hosted by the NESG, as part of activities leading to the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), stressed that if Nigeria’s current level of investment and management of water resources remain the same, the country may become a water stressed nation.
He said this was due to expanding aggregate demand from increasing population and increased economic activities, which would negatively affect lives, businesses and the economy.
“This event is to awaken the private sector to actively commit to improving water resources management for businesses and individuals. This mandate is a UN Global Compact initiative that mobilises business leaders on water, sanitation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).
“Those who endorsed the CEO Water Mandate are committed to continuous progress in the six core elements of stewardship and in so doing, understand and manage their own water risks. Presently, 175 companies worldwide have endorsed the mandate,” he said.
On the need for private sector participation and partnership with the government agencies, Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, Laoye Jaiyeola, said currently, over two billion people now live in places with high level of water scarcity globally.
He added that a third of the world’s largest groundwater systems were already in distress and that acute water shortage could displace about 700 million people globally by 2030 if nothing was urgently done to remedy the situation.
“Nigeria will need to invest at least 1.7 per cent of its GDP yearly to prevent the country from becoming water stressed,” he said. Speaking, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Hussein Adamu, noted that state governments have reduced their investments in water supply infrastructure, stressing that there was the need for private sector support to prevent water scarcity in the country.