Poland and Nigeria are to brainstorm on water resource management, among other areas of social services, a move expected to further cement the relationship between both countries just as the trade volume between them has increased to $150 million.
Speaking at a Water Challenges Brainstorming Session–Nigeria–Poland in Lagos at the weekend, official of GovTech Polska, Prime Minister’s Office, Poland, Antoni RyTel, noted that the two countries could learn and tap ideas that could move them forward from each other.Rytel told The Guardian that the challenges of water resource in Nigeria were similar to those of Poland, but with a different scope.
“The problem of scarcity, purity, accessibility of water, are problems that do not really fit into just national boundaries alone. It is a global issue. This is the reason we think both countries can actually exchange ideas through this event, which is holding simultaneously in Lagos and Poland and then we can breadth ideas on each other and birth their implementation,” he said.
Rytel, who said Poland’s trade volume with Nigeria has increased to $150 million yearly, said Nigeria could learn a lot from Poland in the areas of water management, software development and energy utilisation, among others.
“Although Poland is not as big as Nigeria, we can work together on different fronts. In Poland, we manage our water resources very well; all rivers in Poland 20 years ago were polluted, but now we drink their waters because we have transformed them. We hope to learn from this kind of workshop and ready to lend our ideas as soon as they are ready.”
On her part, Lagos Bureau Chief, Polish Investment & Trade Agency (Representative Office), Justyna Sitarska, pointed out that the programme was part of Polish Investment Policy and Trade aimed at fostering business relationship between both countries.
Sitarska, who revealed that her office was responsible for trade and investments in relation to Nigeria, said they are helping Nigerian importers and distributors to find the right suppliers in Poland for the right products and pricing.
The programme, she said, was organised in collaboration with GOVTECH, Poland, which is targeted at helping regular citizens bring their ideas and problems to limelight, some of which are related to water.
Meanwhile, Group Managing Director/CEO, Lagos Water Corporation, Muminu Badmus, has revealed that said only about 30 per cent of Lagosians are currently serviced by the corporation. Badmus, one of the jurists at the programme, said: “About 30 per cent are currently on our supply list and out of this, about 23 per cent are serviced adequately. Our capacity can actually serve about seven million people. Lagos has about 21 million population, so with the capacity utilization, we can only service about 3.5 million people presently.” Responding, Director, Water Quality Control and Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Emmanuel Awe, noted that there were several issues affecting the sector, which has prompted President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency in the sector.