Lagos State, Mr. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday said the state government is committed to protecting its water resources in order to make potable clean water available and accessible for Lagosians.
He said the goal of his administration to unlock a new wave of investments in Nigeria’s water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, was primarily to delivering potable water and providing safely managed sanitation services for all Lagosians.
The governor said his administration was currently at the final stage of completing the Adiyan II Water Project, which would be the second-largest water infrastructure in Lagos State.
He said Lagos State government had committed huge resources to the water project.
Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke at the third edition of the Lagos International Water Conference, LIWAC, 2022 held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.
The theme of the conference was “Unlocking Investments and Sustainable Access to Clean Water and Sanitation Services: The Regulatory Imperative.”
He said the Lagos State government had acknowledged that financing the water sector had been a challenge and was therefore shopping for private sector investments, noting that currently, most of the financing for water and sanitation came from public budget and donor financing, hence the Call-for-Action to the private sector to explore the huge opportunities that abound in the water supply and sanitation services sub-sector in Lagos, to deliver value while also enjoying commercial gains.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said now is the right time to unlock a new wave of investments in the WASH sector against the background of global disruptions in the water sector occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and intensifying impact of climate change.
He said: “Water is critical, not just for the sustenance of human life, but also for sustainable development. It is essential for all kinds of economic activities, such as agriculture, energy production, mining, manufacturing, and so on.
“We need to make clean and safe water available for our teeming population, and to ensure that even as that population grows there are strategies in place to ensure conservation in the long term. Our goal is primarily to deliver potable water and provide safely managed sanitation services for all Lagosians. We have the political will and a groundswell of support from critical stakeholders, and we welcome you to open up lines of engagement and conversation with us.
“For us in Lagos, we acknowledge that financing for the water sector has been a challenge. According to a World Bank study (2015), bridging the financing gap in Nigeria’s WASH sector will require an estimated USD1.3 billion per year over the next decade, with State-owned water utilities requiring about US$600 million in annual investment.
“Currently, most of the financing for water and sanitation comes from public budget and donor financing, hence this Call-for-Action to the private sector to explore the myriad of opportunities that abound in the water supply and sanitation services sub-sector in Lagos, to deliver value while also enjoying commercial gains.”