The Global Private Sector Representative of Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), has called on the private sector to collaborate with government to resolve gaps in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector .
Dr Nicholas Igwe, the Private Sector Representative of WASH Nigeria, made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.
“On Nov. 8, 2018, President Mohammadu Buhari, declared a state of emergency in the water and sanitation sector.
“The involvement of all state governors in mobilising and partnering with the state private sector is crucial to finding lasting solutions. Government simply cannot do it alone.
“We need other stakeholders including development partners, private sector role players, research and learning institutions and civil society to come together.
“A collaborative effort is vital in finding sustainable solutions to water and sanitation challenges in Nigeria.’’
He noted that there were two major challenges which included finding innovative and cost effective technological solutions and private funding.
Igwe, who is the Managing Director of Zenith Water Projects Ltd, added that these gaps could not be fulfilled by government and the development partners alone without the critical participation of the private sector.
He said that this would greatly assist government to achieve its targets in the sector.
Igwe said that OPSWASH would collaborate with government and development partners to find solutions to the country’s water and sanitation problems.
He said that the private sector under the WASH programme would be categorised in four groups for them to function effectively.
“We are expecting over 400 private WASH companies that will be mapped into four categories which includes private sector with innovation and technologies around WASH
“Financial institutions that needs to learn more on WASH funding and how to create financial products and innovative financial strategies for the WASH sector.
“Oil and gas companies that are willing to use WASH projects as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
“Philanthropists are willing to engage, sponsor or contribute to sustainable Private Sector WASH projects,” Igwe said.
He said the first category would be further mapped to include rural operators, plumbers, stockists, utility operators, managers, among others as this was the main area where capacity building and scale ups were mostly needed.
Igwe said that the private sector has a major role to play in accelerating WASH programmes in Nigeria, especially with the recent collaborative efforts of different stakeholders under the progressive leadership of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
He said that the organisation was fully supported by UNICEF and its first inaugural meeting would be held in September.
He further commended the Federal Government for its new dynamic multi-stakeholders approach in the sector.
“We are also working with the “Clean Nigeria: Use the Toilet Secretariat” as there is nowhere in the world where any country will be able to meet the Sustainable Development Goals without a clear participation of the private sector.