While the management of water resources is mainly under the responsibility of the Federal Government, water supply is managed by the Federal States.
As a result of urban growth and lack of infrastructure maintenance, the coverage by the safe water distribution networks is weak (from 40 to 60% according to available information). This situation reflects a significant need in terms of expansion of networks and service improvement, in order to reach the full capacity of the existing waterworks. Physical and commercial loss rates remain high (from 30 to 60% according to the states), and very few connections are equipped with meters.
This situation results in low financial autonomy of water utilities, whose operating expenditures are heavily subsidized, which in turn perpetuates dependence on federated States’ budgets.
The sector policy reform carried out by the federal government since 2005 intends to improve operational efficiency of water utilities and strengthen their financial autonomy.
The National Urban Water Sector Reform Project II (NUWSRP II) intends to improve the reliability of safe water production at treatment plants, expand supply networks, and strengthen the commercial viability of public water utilities.
The project targets Cross River and Lagos States. It started in 2005 and was initially supposed to end in 2013, but was extended until 2017 to mobilize additional financing due to the revaluation of the total budget and the need to cover three additional cities in Cross River State. These additional funds are provided by AFD and the World Bank through a co-financing agreement.
The NUWSRP II includes four objectives:
- The rehabilitation and expansion of urban water supply systems,
- the ustainability of services, through the development of management capacities and training of the staff in project management procedures,
- the development of public-private partnerships,
- the reform and development of the urban water sector.
- Creation of 75,000 new domestic connections in Cross River State.
- Creation of 24,000 new domestic connections in Lagos State.
- Access to safe water for about a million direct beneficiaries.
- Reduction of social inequalities in Cross River and Lagos States.