Says no to claims on dams concessioning
From: Kazeem Biriowo, Abuja
Federal Government has put in place measures to end open defecation in Nigeria by year 2025, the Minister of Water Resources Engr. Adamu Suleiman has said.
Suleiman said the ministry had to adopt the model practised by India, attributing the commitment to reason the state of emergency on water and sanitation was also launched.
Speaking at a 2-day Water Sector Media Workshop which commenced yesterday in Abuja, the Minister emphasised that that FG launched Open Defecation Free (ODF) road map in 2016 and by 2017, only one local government was totally declared open defecation free.
He identified this LGA as Obanliku out of 774 local governments in the country.
He described the outcome as scandalous but noted that there are several other communities that are open defecation free in the country after Obanliku was declared. He put the figure at 10.
His words: “Our target is to end open defecation in Nigeria by 2025 and if we are growing at this rate, that is in two years, we will be able to do ten local governments in two years and I think there is a problem and that is why we have decided to borrow the model of India that has succeeded in tackling open defecation.
“We have only 47 million people and India has about 500 million people practicing open defecation. By November this year, we ought to have reduce it to zero within four years, India were able to bring out about 400 million people out of open defecation”.
“If they can do that in four years, why can’t we reduce or eliminate those 47million people by making sure we have more rigorous campaign and that is why, in the next few weeks, you will hear a lot of activities especially on open defecation.” The Minister added.
The Minister dispelled claims that the Ministry was planning to concession water dams.
He said only hydro power component of the dam can be concenssioned, stressing that those dams would still be owned by the FG.
“All we will do is to provide some leasing arrangements for fish farming and those are the kind of things we can do, we concession hydro power and aquaculture.
“In Gurara, we have hydro power plant there. All the processes for concession have been completed. It is now the matter of presenting to the Federal Executive Council for approval.
“Of course we still have to wait because the transmission lines are not ready and that is not within the purview of the ministry, it is undertaken by the TCN but a lot of provisions have been made and we hope that by the end of this year, something better will happen.”
“We have 40 Mega Watts Kashambilla Hydro Power Plant which is also ready. Again, we are also waiting for transmission line to be completed but have started the process of concession and we have appointed a transaction adviser, hopefully by next year, we should be able concession that one as well.” He added.