At the end of May, Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello signed into law a bill establishing a new State Water and Sewerage Corporation, an entity that will replace the existing state Water Board. Enacted to improve urban water delivery and sanitation services, the new corporation was supported by USAID through its Effective Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (E-WASH) activity.
The restructuring of the water management entity into a corporation will help provide services more effectively in urban areas of Niger State. It also outlines a framework for sludge management, integrates gender equity policies, clarifies staff roles and responsibilities, and streamlines service delivery, which will be overseen by a new Water and Sewage Regulatory Commission.
“This is a new dawn for our water supply in Niger State,” said Alhaji Abubakar Idris Sadiq, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Dams Development. “Now we can boldly say we have an autonomous Water and Sewerage Corporation that will supply potable water to our people and help improve sanitation. USAID has played a pivotal role in making this law a reality.”
Before the vote, USAID sponsored a series of informational meetings to discuss the legislation with lawmakers, including a high-level consultative workshop with about 30 participants from the state’s Executive Branch and Legislature.
The corporatization bill is part of a larger endeavor to overhaul the state’s water delivery and sanitation services. With the support of USAID E-WASH, Governor Bello also reviewed and re-approved an updated WASH policy from 2017 that better reflects Niger’s needs in 2020.
The five-year, $60.4 million E-WASH activity is also helping five other Nigerian states improve their Water Board performance by strengthening core financial and operational capabilities to advance services to support broad-based economic growth and community resilience.