By Princewill Ekwujuru
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has said that Nigeria needs to invest at least 1.7 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) annually to prevent Nigeria from experiencing water stress. NESG noted that currently more than two billion people around the world live in places that experience high water stress, adding that one-third of the world’s largest groundwater systems are already in danger and 700 million people in the entire world could be displaced by severe water shortages by 2030.
Speaking at the launch of the United Nations (UN) Executive Director of Water as part of the preparation for the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, NESG Executive Director Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola said that the Group’s interest is to push forward the private sector to actively commit to improving the management of water resources for sustainable use for companies and individual consumption.
However, he asserted that Nigeria will need to invest at least 1.7 percent of its GDP, annually, to prevent Nigeria from experiencing water stress.
Also speaking, NESG President Mr. Asue Ighodalo said: “Nigeria is currently classified as an economic water-scarce country, mainly due to inadequate investments over time in the development and management of the water resources available to our social, economic and environmental needs.
“If our current levels of investment and management of water resources remain the same, Nigeria may enter the league of nations with water stress, due to the increasing aggregate demand of a growing population and increased economic activities. This will negatively affect our lives, our businesses and our economy ”.
The Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu, in his opening speech, said that there has been a decrease in investment in water supply infrastructure by state governments, therefore, the participation of the private sector is necessary .