WaterAid Nigeria Gets New Country Representative

By Jim Pressman, Abuja

WaterAid has announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Ojo as their new Country Representative of the Nigeria Country Programme.Dr Michael Ojo was until recently Head of Transport and Environment at London Councils in the United Kingdom, and led a team delivering environmental policy and programmes covering sustainability, water resources, waste and recycling, climate change, environmental health, and local environmental quality, as well as policy on sustainable transport, rail infrastructure investments and aviation on behalf of London boroughs.

Prior to joining London Councils, Michael had worked for the London boroughs of Newham, Redbridge and Islington in a variety of public health and environment roles as an Environmental Health Professional over a period of 12 years.  Dr Ojo qualified as a Veterinary Surgeon from the University of Ibadan before leaving Nigeria to live and work in the UK, worked across UK local and regional governments with tangible impacts on London and national policy. He therefore brings significant international experience as well as a good understanding of the Nigerian context, to this new role.

Upon his resumption in Nigeria, Ojo said: “I am particularly excited to be back in Nigeria.  WaterAid Nigeria has done some really excellent work over the years.  However, the need is still massive.  I look forward to the opportunity and the challenge of taking the Nigeria Country Programme to the next level, contributing to the significant change sweeping the country, and directly impacting the lives of the many Nigerians who still don’t have access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.”

Michael is a member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).

In a related development, WaterAid has also appointed Ms. Tolani Busari as her new Head of Governance. Ms. Busari a strategic communications and advocacy specialist with experience in public, private and non-profit sectors was until recently Strategic Relationships Officer at FHI 360 in Nigeria and communications focal person for Achieving Health Nigeria Iniative – an affiliate of FHI 360. Tolani has worked as a Strategic Communications Consultant to DFID funded project – ENABLE providing technical assistance to the Federal Ministry of Health Food Safety Programme Prior to then, Ms Busari was the Public and Government Affairs Manager in Cadbury Nigeria.

Ms. Tolani Busari holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Lagos, Nigeria and a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. She is also a member of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations (NIPR)

WaterAid is an international NGO working in 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region to improve communities’ quality of life through lasting improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene education using local skills and practical, sustainable technologies.

WaterAid has been working in Nigeria since 1995 and currently works in over 100 communities and about 30 LGAs in six States in the Federation. We champion a number of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) approaches, methodologies and low cost WASH technologies geared towards increasing access to WASH in small towns, rural communities and schools across the nation. Our work seeks to support the Nigerian government in meeting the MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. Visit: www.wateraid.org/nigeria

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