By Ernest Nzor
Connected Development (CODE), a civil society organisation, has applauded the Niger State Government for assenting to the State WASH Bill, which will enhance the autonomy of the State Water Board and establish its independence to deliver safe, clean and potable water to the people of Niger State.
The public relations manager of the State Water Board, Aliyu Jibo Garba, while speaking, said that the governor of Niger State, Abubakar Sani Bello, who signed the WASH bill into law yesterday, noted that the essence of the water and sewage corporation law is to achieve a developed water system in the state with the establishment of an independent, autonomous and commercially viable utility.
Recall that CODE, with the support of the United State Agency for International Development (USAID) Effective Water Sanitation and Hygiene (E-WASH) Services Program, had earlier urged the state to hasten assent of the Bill so as to eradicate bottlenecks holding back the need for the State WASH sector to be effective.
The chief executive officer of CODE, Hamzat Lawal, in a press statement made available to LEADERSHIP yesterday, said that, “CODE had earlier intensified civic advocacy and met with opinion leaders including the Emir of Minna, Niger, Hon Umaru Bahago, and the state commissioner for Water Resources, Hon Yusuf Suleiman. Hon Suleiman had pledged to accelerate the passage of the bill so that the governor could assent to it. The new law will also ensure that the water rights of residents are enhanced.”
“According to CODE’s Niger State Lead on USAID E-WASH, Richard Umar, before the bill was signed, Niger State had been making intentional efforts to address sanitation issues, especially in urban areas. CODE commends the state community-based organisations, state media organisations, the WASH Customer Forums and other WASH groups in Niger for advocating that the government fulfills its promise to the people.
“This commendable development shows the progress Niger is making to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6, which advocates for clean and sustainable water for all. Undoubtedly, increasing access to WASH aids economic development, poverty reduction, education (particularly for girls), health outcomes and many more.”