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Water engineers advocate good governance structure to tackle sector challenges

Engineers in the water sector have called for a good governance structure to tackle the challenges in the provision and supply of quantitative and quality water across the country.

Engineers in the water sector have called for a good governance structure to tackle the challenges in the provision and supply of quantitative and quality water across the country.

The engineers made this call at the Dinner and Awards Night, Conferment of Fellowship, culminating a 3-day Conference organised by the Nigerian Institution of Water Engineers (NIWE) on Thursday, in Abuja.

The theme of the conference is ‘Innovative Solutions to Water Supply and Water Infrastracture Challenges in Nigeria. Mr Imo Ekpo, a Consultant in water and hydropower and a Guest Speaker at the dinner, said that among the resolutions that had come out of all the discussions during the conference was the need for a good governance structure.

According to him, a good governance structure would help to develop the water sector which will help to develop Nigerians and boost the economy of the country.

“Government can do the policy and the private sector can do the implementing. We need what is called a good governance structure.

“Government working hand in hand with the people, the private stakeholders.

“Government should be less involved in business and let the private sector handle it. It is the private sector that can develop the economy, the bureaucracy in government is too much but the private sector will be conscious of results.

“We should be looking ahead in terms of the future. You know the population is increasing in Nigeria and the world, the climate change is a challenge in Nigeria and globally and then the issue of stability in terms of drought is also a problem,” Ekpo said.

The expert also added that greater investment in water infrastracture with the implementation of all the points advocated in the conference Nigeria would be a better country that would move from where it is to where it ought to be .

The President of NIWE, Mrs Chinyere Igwegbe, speaking at the dinner said the conference came up with 37 resolutions which would be forwarded as a Communique to Nigerian Society of Engineers the parent body of NIWE to be acted upon.

According to her, each of the resolutions would form an advocacy point of action to bring about the much needed solutions to the challenges confronting the sector starting from the grassroot.

“By the time we have addressed the nature based solutions we have proffered and the political discuss we believe we need to start the advocacy from the grassroots.

“I think we will do more and the government will better understand us and we will work in synergy.

“We talked about politics in water, that is, advocate more and let the state and the local government come in to play their part and work with us to make sure that we have good water supply to the masses.

“The researchers also came up with other ways of purifying water that will cost less by the time they have more input from the government to do more research on them it will be of benefit to us,” Igwegbe said.

The highpoint of the dinner was the Conferment of Fellowship on nine members of the institution.

They include Mr Clement Onyeaso, Mr Douglas Oloton, Mr Joshua Santa, Mr Gambo Malan among others. One of the Conferees Mrs Lynda Bitrus said she was joyful that all the efforts she put into the practice over the years have been recognised.

Among her contributions to the sector are water-based solutions and wastewater treatment. She was also part of a team that had developed the water hand book for students and the pioneer coordinator of water clubs in the FCT and in Nigeria.

Speaking on the merits of the conference Bitrus said the theme of the conference was epic because the discussion was centred around innovative ways of finding solutions to the numerous challenges in the sector.

“It had been so phenomenal because we had people from the NGO, from the academia from the regulatory agencies brainstorming and bring up innovative ideas that can bring solutions to the myriad of problems that we have in water supply.

“As well as in water infrastracture in Nigeria and am sure if the communique is rolled out and given to the relevant ministries they will find it quite useful,” Bitrus said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NIWE was established in 2009 and formerly known as Nigerian Society of Engineers, Water Division.