By Eric Elezuo
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called for co-operation among all stakeholders in the water business to enable the state government provide healthy, available and affordable water for all purposes among the teeming populace.
Governor Sanwo-Olu made this call while delivering his address as the host of the 2020 Lagos Water Conference held at the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Lagos with the theme Re-positioning Water Governance and Regulatory Dispensation in Lagos State. Represented by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, the governor recalled his government’s commitment to create a safe, healthy and conducive environment for the good people of Lagos State, adding that the pledge is coming to life with the administration’s environmental regeneration programmes, one of which is the regime in the water water sector.
“At the inception of this administration, we pledge to create a safe healthy and conducive environment for the good people of Lagos State, and we have continued to demonstrate our commitment to this pledge through our various environmental regeneration programmes, one of which is the enthronement of the regulatory regime in the water sector,” the governor informed
He noted further that:
“Environmental regeneration programmes in the water sector all over the world are regulatory based and Government cannot do it alone. This is why we have continued to call on major stakeholders in the water and wastewater service provisions and well meaning Nigerians to join hands with our administration in achieving this laudable objective.
“…let me use this opportunity to invite all and sundry to join this train of collective transformation of our state even as I assure all that our administration will continue to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the water sector.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, to ensure that the quality of services in the water sector are well maintained and sustained, adherence to the practice order documents is hereby recommended,” He said.
Mr Bello, on behalf of the governor unveiled the books on water resources management as well as the permit required for stakeholders to get involved in Lagos water business.
Anchored by veteran actor and broadcaster, Yemi Shodimu, the conference which drew together stakeholders in the water business, was an exercise on the reason behind government’s tendency to regularise the business of water in Lagos State as initiated by the Executive Secretary, Lagos State Water Regularisation Commission, Mrs. Funke Adepoju, who is also the convener of the conference.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Adepoju informed the stakeholders that it is basically ripe for the regularisation of the water business in Lagos State as it is no longer going to be an all comers affair. She appealed to stakeholders to see reason with the government and give their maximum cooperation.
Thereafter, speaker after speaker, applauded the government for the lofty decision to regularise water business, saying it was long overdue. Among the speakers were Julius Steyn of Osmotek, South Africa, who spoke on International Best Practice Standard for Water Governance and Regulatory Dispensations Including Examples of Similar Regions; Prof. Ayo Omotayo of the Centre for Planning, Lagos State University, who spoke on Sustainable Governance and Strengthening of Regulatory Framework on Surface and Groundwater Source/Supplies in Lagos State.
Other speakers were Mr. Rotimi Olarenwaju of the Department of Lagos, and Mr. Michael Ale. President, Association of Well Rig Owners and Practioners.
There were also goodwill messages from the Executive Director, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission, Engr. Magashir Bashiru Umar; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mrs. Ronke Odeneye; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce Industry and Co-operative, Dr, (Mrs.) Bola Bola Balogun, and Engr. Lekan Shodeinde with the vote of thanks.
The conference promised the Lagos public of the best of water supply with the new regulatory templates agreed on.