About the author: Oluwabunmi Michael has been in the Nigerian water industry since 2003. He holds a post-graduate diploma certificate in Applied Geophysics from the Federal University of Technology, Akure in Ondo State, South Western Nigeria. He has been a major player in the water engineering industry in Nigeria, having performed water engineering and other engineering and construction related water works. Further, he has supervised water projects in the all parts of Nigeria and has prepared tender/bidding documents and as well represented companies he has worked with at tender/bidding opening ceremonies for government and Unicef (A Field Office, Enugu Nigeria) water projects contracts.
Presently he is the CEO of Faith-Hydroworks Ltd based in Lagos, Nigeria. You can connect with Oluwabunmi Michael via Linkedin.
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In Nigeria, the operational system, or water resources structure, of the government (federal, state or local authorities) follows the same pattern. The operational structure is design such that the Federal Ministry of Water Resources (FMWR), headed by the minister of water resources, controls and oversees all activities in the Nigeria water industry. Other federal government parastatals – such as the River Basin Development Authorities, as well as other federal water agencies all located across the 36 states in Nigeria and the federal capital territory (Abuja), were structured to be dependent on FMWR.
The ministry of water resources, headed by a politically appointed commissioner for water resources, also exists in each of the 36 states in the country. Such as at the Federal level, each state also has state government parastatals – like water corporations/water boards. State water agencies – like “Rural Water and Sanitation Agencies (RUWATSA)”, also exists in each state.
At the local government level, depending on the number of local government authorities in each state, the department of water resources performs the same function similar to that at the Federal and state levels. At the Federal, state and local government authorities, all the water resources ministries, parastatals, agencies, and departments work towards the same goal; to ensure regular and un-interrupted supply and provision of portable water to the people living in the country, irrespective of your tribe, sex, financial status, position in the society or level of education.
Funding of water projects is mostly by the federal government through the yearly budget of FMWR. Such projects spread across specific senatorial districts and federal constituencies in the 36 states and Abuja. The World Bank, African Development Bank, and other international financial institutions have specific means through which they give financial support to some selected countries in the area of water, education, health, housing etc. Nigeria is one of such countries that get financial grants from the above mentioned financial institutions.
State governments also fund water projects in their states through approved yearly budgets of the state’s Ministry of Water Resources. However, in some mega projects, the Federal government and other bodies like World Bank, African Development Bank, etc. supports or partner with the state government to provide funding. State governments in Nigeria all have different means of generating funds to run the state affairs, but the federal government of Nigeria has allocations that go to each of the 36 states as well as the federal capital territory (Abuja) every month to compliment the internally generated revenue. Depending on the sitting government, local governments’ authorities are funded directly by the federal government or indirectly by the federal government, through the state governments. Local governments’ authorities in each state also generate money internally, but the major source of funding to run the government comes from the federal government. Therefore, funding of projects comes majorly directly or indirectly from the federal government of Nigeria.
From the brief explanation above, relative to the spread of local government authorities in the country, one would expect or assume that the remote areas in the villages and cities in the far Northern parts of the country, that the extreme and urban areas in the Western and Eastern parts of the country, that the creeks, villages and towns in the South parts of the country, and that the inner towns, villages and cities in the middle belt in the central part of the country enjoy regular and uninterrupted supply of portable water on a daily basis, through the year. To a large extent, yes. But certain parts of the country are yet to enjoy regular supply of portable water. To some, it is either water has never run from their taps or that water stopped running from their taps a very long time ago.
It therefore becomes worrisome that the Federal, States and Local government authorities, with the combined activities of the federal and the 36 states (including Abuja) parastatals and water agencies, and with the millions of dollars spent on a yearly basis to ensure regular provision of portable water in the country, Nigeria’s government is yet to achieve her goal. Many factors are responsible for this. I enumerated 6 major reasons out of many, why the Nigeria government is yet to achieve her goal of providing portable water for her citizens on a regular basis in my article “The Challenges of Water Supply Schemes in the Nigerian Context”, which can be read by clicking here.
In complimenting the government of Nigeria in her pursuit of the provision of regular and uninterrupted portable water to all, the NGO’s role is huge. NGOs have played a significant role so far in the Nigeria water industry, either as partners to the government to fund water projects or by funding projects directly without government partnership. The records are there to see, as water projects provided by NGO’S spread across the 36 states and Abuja in Nigeria as proofs of NGO’S positive contributions to Nigeria water industry.
Talking about NGO’S, the list is long, especially among the religious bodies (for both Christian and Muslim denominations). It is important to note that Christian religious bodies are more active in the Nigeria water industry than the Muslim religious bodies. This does not mean that the Muslim religious bodies are not making any contribution to compliment the government effort in the area of provision of portable water in the country, but their activities in the Nigeria water industry is not as notable as that of the Christian religious bodies. However, I will briefly discuss few among the many lists of NGO’s. My sincere apology to those that I will not be able to mention in this article. I cannot discuss all. But the truth is that all have done great job. Kudos to all and more grease to your elbows.
Among the notable ones are as follows:
1). The Rotary Clubs.
2). The Lions Clubs.
3) Christian religious bodies.
The Rotary Clubs
This is a non–profit, humanitarian organization. The Rotary VISION is to achieve a better world. By composition, Rotary has three parts, namely Rotary Clubs, Rotary International and Rotary Foundation. Rotary International supports the Rotary Clubs worldwide. The responsibility of the Rotary Foundation is to ensure that all projects are properly funded. Rotary Foundation funding comes from members voluntary donations. Rotarian friends all over the world, who share the same vision as Rotary, also make voluntary financial contributions. The interesting thing about the Rotary is that the three parts work together to achieve a common goal, which is to improve communities around the world.
In Nigeria, Rotary has district clubs and Rotary International that are spread all over the country. The Rotary clubs in Nigeria, like Rotary in other parts of the world, devout themselves to club programs and activities that focus on humanitarian and are non–profiting. One of the areas, among many, in which the club’s humanitarian programs touches the life of the people is through the provision of water projects in specified areas in the cities, communities, and in the villages. Among several clubs that engages in humanitarian and non–profiting activities in Nigeria, the Rotary leads while others follows, with respect to activities in the Nigeria water industry. The spread or the presence of Rotary clubs in quite a number of states is so significant with respect to the spread of existing and proposed water projects in several places in Nigeria. Through her humanitarian activities, the Rotary clubs has brought smile to the faces of many in Nigeria in so many areas of life. The provision of water projects for the people is not an exception as many people in different places without good water to drink before now have access to and are enjoying good water for drinking and for other domestic purposes. For further details about the Rotary clubs and her non–profit and humanitarian activities in the Nigeria water industry, you can visit www.rotary.org or you can as well join the nearest Rotary club in your district or join online to become a Rotarian.
The Lions Clubs
Like the Rotary clubs of Nigeria, the Lions Clubs is also a non-profit and humanitarian organization. Some of the humanitarian activities of the Lions Clubs are similar to that of the Rotary club, as both organizations’ goal is to ensure that government efforts are complimented in the area of provision of food, shelter, potable water, good and quality education, good health, good environment, good sanitation, among others. However, their internal operational structure differs. According to the Lions Clubs International website, the organizations VISION statement is “To be the global leader in community and humanitarian service”.
In Nigeria, the Lions Clubs also established her presence in a number of states. All projects funding is from the clubs’ purse. Therefore, provision of water projects by the Lions Clubs in cities, communities and villages across the country are made possible by the presence of the clubs in the major cities. It is therefore interesting to see non–profit, humanitarian organizations like the Rotary clubs and the Lions clubs making their own quota in the Nigeria water industry, as a means of complimenting the government, at the federal, state and local authorities levels. For more information about the Lions Clubs International and her numerous non–profit activities in the Nigeria water industry, you can visit www.lionsclubs.org or join to become a member.
The Christian Religious Body
The list of Churches in Nigeria is very long. The notable ones includes: The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Living Faith Church (a.k.a Winners’ Chapel Int.), Deeper life Church, Christ Embassy Church, Fountain of Life Church, Synagogue Church, Catholic Church, Methodist Church, Christ Apostolic Church, Scripture Pastures Church, Sword of the spirit Ministry, Celestial Church of God, Cherubim and Seraphim Church of God, to mention a few. All the above mentioned Churches and others that I do not mentioned here, have branches in nearly all the 36 states of Nigeria and Abuja. Let me also place it on record here that all these Churches touches the life of the community where they are present positively, through several means, depending on their different doctrines, teachings and humanitarian activities. I decided therefore, in this article to discuss the activities of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, in the Nigeria water industry, as the Church will perfectly represent the other bodies of the Nigerian Churches, embarking on similar activities.
Redeemed Christian Church of God
The camp of the Redeemed Christian Church of God is located at the Redemption ground along Lagos – Ibadan expressway in Ogun state, and which is few kilometers away from Berger end of Lagos state, Nigeria. The mind-set of the founder and leadership of redeemed Christian church of God is that any Church member should not walk more than five (5) minutes from his/her house to reach the nearest Redeemed Church to worship, anywhere in Nigeria, be it in the Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western or Middle belt. With this vision, Redeemed Christian Church of God has planted many Churches (parishes) across the 36 states in Nigeria, including Abuja. It is therefore not surprise to see more than two or three parishes of Redeemed Christian Church of God along a particular street in any city, in the 36 states and Abuja, in Nigeria.
Based on the doctrine and believes of the Redeemed Christian Church of God founder and leadership, the Church have so many departments where workers in the Church choose to serve God, with respect to their different callings. One of such numerous departments is the “Missions Club”. Through the missions club, the Church carries out her activities in the Nigeria Water Industry. The missions club caters for the Ministers in the missions’ field in terms of funds, material needs and spiritual needs. The club also caters for the needs of the people that are being ministered to in the field (villages and remote places far from the cities as the occasion may be), sometimes, as occasion demands. Over the years, experience of the Ministers shows that one major area where the people in the communities needs urgent and non-negotiable assistance is in the area of portable water. Realizing this urgent and necessary need in all of these communities the missions club of the Redeemed Christian Church of God has provided uncountable water projects across the country in those communities concerned. As long as the mission work continues, the provision of water projects in other interior parts of the country that are not yet reach will also continue.
Funding of the water projects is by the Church. The missions’ clubs in each parish keep a purse. Any member of the Church that wants to participate in the work of God can access the purse by putting money into it, according to how such person is blessed by God. Through this means, funding water projects and other needs of the ministers in the field becomes easier. In some cases, individual Church members have decided to pay the bill of a particular project or some collective projects anonymously. They always see the projects as working for God and they always believe that it is a privilege working for God. Like the Redeemed Christian Church of God, other Churches in Nigeria also provide water projects to some certain sections of the country as a means of complimenting the government in her efforts to providing potable water to the people. However, there might be other means of doing so or different departments doing so on behalf of different Churches. To access further information about the activities of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in the Nigeria water industry, through the missions’ club of the Church, you can visit www.trccg.org or become a member by worshiping in the nearest Redeemed Christian Church parish to you on a Sunday.
UNICEF’s contribution to the water industry in Nigeria has been immense over the years. UNICEF has an organizational structure that ensures the 36 states in Nigeria, including Abuja, enjoys UNICEF humanitarian activities. This structure also made it possible for UNICEF to compliment the efforts of the Nigeria governments at the federal, states, and local government authority levels, across the country. Within UNICEF,the department that handles provision of water projects is the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) department.
The United Nations office in Nigeria is located in the Garki business district, Abuja. Four other offices also exist. These include:
- ‘A’ Field office at independent layout, Enugu in Enugu state.
- ‘B’ Field office at Lugard Avenue, lkoyi in Lagos state.
- ‘C’ Field office at Yakubu avenue, GRA, in Kaduna state, and
- ‘D’ Field office at Abdukadir Ahmed Road in the commercial layout of Bauch state.
With the location of the above field offices, the activities of UNICEF is positively felt from the Northern parts down to the middle belt region, and to the Western parts as well as the Eastern and Southern regions. UNICEF has a cordial relationship with the Water Corporation/Board as well as other agencies like the Rural Water and Sanitation (RUWATSA) in the 36 states in Nigeria and Abuja to make her impact felt. At the federal level, UNICEF and FMWR work towards the same goal of ensuring that portable water reaches all. UNICEF has sponsored several water related events which were organized by the FMWR in conjunction with Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) and other federal paparastatls. Those events were huge success.
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Before I conclude, let me briefly mention Best and Compton. This non-profit and humanitarian Japanese organization has her office located in Abuja the federal capital territory. Best and Crompton has also made her presence felt positively in the area of provision of potable water in Abuja, Plateau state and other northern states in the neighborhood of Abuja, in Nigeria.
Conclusively, the achievements recorded by NGOs in the Nigeria water industries are huge. All have one goal – which is to ensure that ALL have equal right and access to constant and uninterrupted supply of portable water, irrespective of your status and location. Let the good work continue.