17 August 2017

Nigeria: $1.5 Billion Spent On Urban Water Projects Across States - Official

The Nigerian government said on Thursday that it has expended over $1.5 billion on urban water sanitation sector through the National Urban Water Reform.

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, made the claims at the 24th regular meeting of the National Water Council in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

He said the project put in place to address the problem associated with water in urban areas, had entered its third phase with eight states as its major beneficiaries.

According to the minister, the states include Kaduna, Ogun, Enugu, Lagos, Cross River, Rivers, Ekiti and Bauchi.

The project, he said, is receiving funding from a total loan package of $770 million from the World Bank.

He said nine other states which included, Ondo, Kano, Jigawa, Gombe, Benue, Plateau, Anambra, Abia and Bayelsa are being prepared for follow up investment.

"The World Bank credits have been complemented by the French Development Agency (AFD) with a total credit of $111.1million for Ogun, Lagos and Cross River States," said Mr. Adamu.

"Another AFD credit of about $200million, is currently being prepared for Ondo, Plateau, Kano and Enugu states and the African Development Bank is investing a total of $381milliom in Taraba, Oyo, Kaduna and Rivers states, while Islamic Development Bank is making investments of $121million in Kaduna and Osun states.

"Thus, over $1.5 billion, credits have been mobilised for the urban water and sanitation sector through the reform program alone aside some grants that were provided to support the efforts by the European Union, USAID and JICA.

"The reform project objectives are to improve access to piped water in the project states as well as make the Water Agencies financially and commercially viable to deliver sustainable water service."

According to the minister, the present administration in the country places high premium on provision of water and sanitation to Nigerians in an affordable and sustainable manner, towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).

He called on state governments across the nation to key into the federal government's initiative of rehabilitating dams constructed by the federal government

"It is expected that when the Federal Government constructs dams to impound bulk water, the states should key in to construct treatment plants and conveyances pipeline to distribute the water to the end users," he said.

While declaring the meeting open, the Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, appealed to the federal government to give loans to state governments to repair some of the existing dams while the money should be deducted from the state allocation.

Mr. Akeredolu said most states will be willing to enter into such agreement with the federal government in order to provide essential services such as pipe borne water for the people of state.

He explained that most of the dams in the state are begging for attention and expressed its administration's commitment towards providing water for the people of the state.

"I am made to understand that the federal government is saddled with the construction of dams and for making raw water available. This is a good policy which I want to plead to be fully extended to Ondo State," said Mr. Akeredolu.

"At the moment most of the major urban water supply schemes, some of which were inherited from the defunct western Nigeria, have become old and inadequate in their capacities to meet the ever-increasing population and water demand."

The governor called on the meeting to help in providing solution to the challenges of water supply confronting the state.

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