The United Nations CEO Water Mandate in Nigeria has been launched by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), as part of pre-summit events leading up to the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES).
The initiative was to galvanise the private sector to actively commit to improving water resources management for sustainable use for businesses and individual consumption.
According to a statement, the CEO Water Mandate was officially launched by the Chairman, NESG, Mr. Asue Ighodalo.
Speaking at the event, he said it marked a significant milestone for the NESG, saying it underscored the group’s mission to be an enabling platform for mobilising the private sector to tackle challenging economic and social issues which confront our nation.
“This mandate is a UN Global Compact initiative that mobilises business leaders on water, sanitation, and the Sustainable Development Goals. Endorsers of the CEO Water Mandate commit to continuous progress against six core elements of stewardship and in so doing understand and manage their own water risks. Presently, 175 companies, globally, have endorsed the mandate,” he added.
In his keynote address, the Federal Minister for Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Hussein Adamu, said there had been a decline in investments to water supply infrastructure by the state governments, “therefore, there is a need for private sector participation.”
On the need for private sector participation, working with the government agencies, the CEO, NESG, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, affirmed that Nigeria would need to invest at least 1.7 per cent of its GDP, annually, to prevent the country from becoming water stressed.
“Currently, over two billion people worldwide are living in places experiencing high water stress, a third of the world’s biggest groundwater systems are already in distress and 700 million people worldwide could be displaced by intense water scarcity by 2030,” he added.
During the launch, Ighodalo also reminded all that Nigeria is presently ranked as an economic water scarce country, due primarily to inadequate investments over time in the development and management of available water resources for our social, economic and environmental needs.