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EU awards 7.2m euro contract to improve water supply in Nigeria

The European Commisssion in Nigeria has awarded  a €7.2 million contract to provide technical assistance to the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP) in Nigeria.

The contract was awarded to Atkins is  a joint venture with UK based ITAD and Abuja based Enplan


The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Water Resources commenced in 1997 the process of reforming the water resources sector in order to establish effective, efficient, functional and implementable policy, legislation, institutional arrangements and development strategies for integrated water resources management (IWRM) in Nigeria which will enable water resources to be developed, utilized and protected to the benefit of all in order to support economic growth, achievement of development goals, equity and the eradication of poverty.

In support of the reforms in the water sector, the European Commission and the Federal Government of Nigeria agreed in December 2004 to fund the implementation of the Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme (WSSSRP) in Nigeria.

The total cost of the programme is €119.63 million of which the EDF will cover €87 million whereas the three tiers of government and beneficiary communities will contribute €31.43 million and UNICEF €1.2 million.

The programme implementation started in 2005 and will end by 2010.

The objectives of the WSSSRP are to provide support to institutional and policy reform and demonstrate innovative approaches to services delivery, including implementation of water supply and sanitation projects co-financed with the government in six focal states (Anambra, Cross River, Jigawa, Kano, Osun and Yobe State) that were selected upon the results of the State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS) 2005 benchmarking exercise
The results to be achieved under the WSSSRP are:
Result 1: Improved water governance at federal level;
Result 2: Improved water governance at state and LGA levels in the six focal states;
Result 3: Improved water service delivery in urban areas in the six focal states;
Result 4: Water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion services are delivered in a sustainable and integrated manner in up to 1400 rural communities and 60 small towns in 25% of LGAs in the six focal state

 The project is funded by the European Union in collaboration with the Nigerian government and will potentially benefit over three million people across six states – Cross River, Anambra and Osun in the south and Kano, Jigawa and Yobe in the north with central co-ordination based in the capital Abuja. 
The main objective of the project is to contribute to poverty eradication, sustainable development and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. 

The objective will be achieved by facilitating the water and sanitation sector reform process in each state through the establishment of State Technical Units manned by consultants provided under the contract. 

 The teams will be working closely with the State water ministries to introduce the planned institutional and legislative reforms and to provide improved water supply and sanitation delivery in 39 local government areas.

The project will be mainly staffed by Nigerian professionals covering engineering, community development, procurement and finance and accounting.

The work fits in with other work Atkins has been undertaking for the EU in Nigeria, notably the drafting of the National Water Resources Bill.

Although some progress has been made during the first phase of the project, a large amount remains to be done. Atkins Project Director, Ian Mathieson, said:

“The main challenge will be to introduce institutional change in a very short time frame. We look forward to working with our clients to ensure an effective implementation of the reforms which will ultimately improve water supply and sanitation for a significant proportion of the Nigerian population.”

For more information:  
Imogen Parker  Tel: +44 (0) 1372 754353