The National Urban Water Sector Reform Programme has proposed an instrument for driving the water supply sector tagged Water Investment Mobilization and Application Guidelines (WIMAG).
Responsibilities for coordinating implementation of these guidelines rest on the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Water Resources while the State Govemment will implement the guidelines at the state level. Among the goals of WlMAG is the provision of guidelines on best practice investment in water supply, incorporating clear and enforceable standards of performance, conduct operation and management at the state level.
The guideline also provides a new structure for financing that is demand responsive as demonstrated by State Govemment and Water Service Providers (WSPs) willingness to implement sectoral and operational reforms respectively. The States and WSPs will be expected to progressively meet performance targets in the sector. WIMAG provides for reporting and monitoring to ensure consistent measuring of utility performances nationwide. It supports over a longer term, the establishment and capacity building of a system of independent state regulators while it provides a mechanism by which funding for capital project in the water supply sector can be made available and applied.
OPERATIONALISING WIMAG via Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) It is envisaged that states will commit to implementing the WIMAG and the related sector refomts by signing up to the WIMAG Memorandum of Understanding (WIMAGIMOU).
WIMAG/MOU is a voluntary agreements between the Federal and State Local Governments under which the Federal Government makes a conditional commitment to make available funding on a co?funding basis to projects in the states where agreed conditions are met. ln return, the state government commits to ensuring that water supply delivery improves by implementing sectorreforms. WIMAG sets out attainable reform requirements which include the adoption of a new legal framework for the regulation of the water sector.
The legislature (State House of Assemblies) will play a key role here to usher in the enthronement of better water supply services in their venous States through their supportfor reform legislation. ln summary, the objectives of WlIVlAG are to increase water service coverage, service level improvement, reduction of unit cost of providing water while improving water quality and enthroning price equity. The financial performance of existing waterfacilities will be positively affected to make room for cost recovery and improved efficiency of capital investments.