Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, at the weekend, revealed that over 52.7 million Nigerians have no access to portable water supply in the country.
The minister made the revelation in a lecture he delivered at the third founders’ day celebration of the Edo University, Iyamho, Etsako West Local Government Area of the state.
The minister, in the lecture titled, ‘Water, Sanitation and hygiene’, said majority of the figures were highly concentrated in rural areas.
According to him, “In 2015, the National Water Supply Coverage (NWSC) was 69 percent, comprising of urban dwellers 80 percent, semi urban (small town) 68 percent and rural areas 60 percent.
“This implied that 31 percent, representing 52.7 million Nigerians did not have access to water supply.
“Inadequate water and sanitation infrastructure, population increase and rapid urbanisation have created a serious deficiency in the quality of life of an average Nigerian with dire consequences on sanitation, food, security, health, employment and standard of living,” he said
The minister, who was represented by the Managing Director of Benin-Owena River Basin Development Authority, Ahmed Saliu, said the ministry had developed immediate and long-term strategies for water sector 2016 to 2030, tagged ‘the water sector road map to address the problem’.
Nigeria, he said, was not able to meet the Millennium Development Goals target on access to water supply as a result of the decline in access to water in the rural areas.
Adamu noted that with the water sector road map, concerted efforts must be put in place towards achieving 100 percent access to water supply by 2030 in accordance with the newly adopted in accordance with the newly adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Godwin Obaseki, governor of Edo state, in his address, said plans have been put in place to partner world class universities in its quest to be one of the best institutions in the world.
“This was a goal we set out when we established this University. They’ve done well, but there’s still a lot to be done. Our goal is to make this University a global University, a university that can compare with anyone anywhere in the world. The benchmark is not Nigeria, it’s the world. I want by the next ranking, this University being ranked among the best Universities in the continent,” he said.