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Asset Management: A Way Forward to Improving the Performance of Urban Water Utilities in Nigeria

Imonikhe, Oseigbowa Margaret (2020) Asset Management: A Way Forward to Improving the Performance of Urban Water Utilities in Nigeria. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This research is about adapting modern-day asset management practices to suit the Nigerian urban water sector. The research established what asset management best practices entail by looking at countries like the UK, Australia, USA and South Africa. It was observed that asset management best practices occurred because of good governance, proper monitoring schemes, the existence of training schemes and standard guidelines. Additionally, asset management best practices seemed to be more pertinent to developed countries, it, therefore, became necessary to examine the urban water context of middle-income and low-income African countries to identify unique features pertinent to their context. From the analysis of African urban water context, issues such as poor governance, political interference, lack of financial resources, infrastructural decay and population growth and prevalence of illegal urban settlements were found. Also, an in-depth analysis of African countries like Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Uganda which were referenced as good urban water management practices occurred. Fundamentals for good practice observed in these four African countries include autonomy, financial sustainability, the existence of pro-poor systems, capacity building and developing an assurance framework. It is vital to have these characteristics and principles as a precursor to adopting modern asset management practices to the Nigerian urban water sector. The research was limited to the Nigerian urban water sector because of the significant contribution it had on how Sub-Saharan African region and West African region in meeting the sustainable development goal for water and sanitation. A critical look into the Nigerian urban water sector was undertaken during the research. An assessment of the Nigerian urban water sector revealed that key challenges such as poor governance, political interference, lack of financial resources, infrastructural decay and population growth and prevalence of illegal urban settlements impacting African countries were also evident in the Nigerian urban water sector. After this, a conceptual asset management framework was developed based on the review of best practices in asset management, African countries with good urban management practices and the Nigerian Urban water context. The conceptual model was tested using a multiple case study design. Four representative case utilities were selected out of the 36 utilities in Nigeria to test the feasibility of applying modern-day asset management practices to the Nigerian Urban water context. Interviews and focus groups were data collection instruments used for collecting data from the case studies. A total of 60 participants from the four utilities were interviewed for 45-60 minutes and asked to give their candid views about key elements of the conceptual framework which include understanding the context, asset management system, performance measuring system and key areas for improvement. The recorded interviews were transcribed based on these key components of the conceptual framework. The Key themes emerged for each of the elements of the conceptual framework were used to modify the framework. In addition, the framework was validated with 14 experts and revised based on the responses of the participants of the validation exercise. After the validation exercise, elements of the revised framework were discussed with reference to literature to establish the implications of the findings. The results showed that that water utilities in Nigeria will need sustainable funding mechanisms that can enable the asset management process to deliver the required levels. The research also established the importance of developing an enabling environment that empowers all key stakeholders associated with the urban water sector. The research also established the need to proper engagement structures, introduction of resilient infrastructure and improve the maturity of management processes for adopting asset management. In conclusion, the following propositions can be taken from the review of the Nigerian water sector. Asset management can be adapted to the Nigerian urban water sector when all asset types are actively managed. Asset management can also be adapted to the Nigerian urban water context when existing risk management processes are able to tackle contextual issues, stakeholders' interest and risks related to managing all asset types simultaneously. Additionally, Asset management can be adapted to the Nigerian urban water context when performance measures are in place to evaluate the asset management process, contextual factors and all asset types. Finally, Asset management can be adapted to the Nigerian urban water sector where contextual factors are integrated into the asset management system.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Engineering (Leeds) > School of Civil Engineering (Leeds)
Depositing User: Miss Oseigbowa Margaret Imonikhe
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2020 13:43
Last Modified: 16 Jul 2020 13:43
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/27225

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