Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu.

By Abubakar Hassan

Minister of Water Resources and Chairman, National Council on Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman H. Adamu has declared that the current campaign against open defecation is everybody’s business.

The minister made this declaration while speaking to Journalists during the closing ceremony of the 26 meeting of the National Council on Water Resources in Minna, recently.

He said the campaign and the executive order given by President Muhammad Buhari would not work without the states keying into it, calling on the states to take the campaign seriously because the people involved in open defecation resides in the states.

“The campaign and executive order cannot work without the states involved. The people are not living in Abuja they live in the states and the local government areas,” said the minister.

He then stressed the need for the state government, local governments, individuals, community and religious leaders to support the campaign against open defecations, saying the practice cut across every strata of the society and as such the campaign against such practice is everybody’s business.

Engr. Suleiman who appreciated Niger state Governor, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello for accepting to host them despite the short notice also disclosed that the resolutions reached by the technical team of the council will be made public and what affects the water sector at the federal level will be dealt with, while the states will do same to what affects the sector at the state level.

In his remark, the Governor of Niger State, Alh. Abubakar Sani Bello who was represented by the Secretary to the government of Niger state, Alh. Ahmed Ibrahim Matane said the state was committed to the water policies put in place and developed by the federal ministry of water resources.

He said the state was particular about sanitation and hygiene and that the state was ready and committed to endorse whatever initiative that can improve sanitation and hygiene in the state, adding that the state had already endorsed Effective Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (E-WASH) programme supported by USAID.

The governor said Niger state would benefit alot from hosting the meeting because of its strategic location, hosting three hydro-electric dams with another one ongoing at Zungeru, adding that the state was also transverse by the river Niger and Kaduna, as well as the Gurara river.

He disclosed that the state look up to the council to get some intervention from the federal government, particularly as these water bodies provide water for agricultural purposes through irrigation, saying there is no place to do better agricultural activities than Niger state.

The Managing Director of Zenith Water Project and National Co-ordinator of the organized private sector for wtaer, sanitation and hygiene, Dr. Igwe Nicholas said the private sector play a critical role in the sector, adding that no amount of money the government or development partners put in the sector that will bridge the infrastructural and financial gap.

He said the organized private sector brought in different segment of the economy such as the communication industry, oil and gas, manufacturing, as well as the financial institution and Nigerians in Diaspora Commission under one Umbrella, with the aim of bridging the infrastructural gaps and create jobs within the water and sanitation value chain, and to support government to ensure that their initiative and vision see the light of the day.