Suleiman Adamu, the Minister of Water Resources, has revealed that the first tier of the World Bank $700 million for specific water projects in their respective states will benefit Bauchi, Delta, Ekiti, Imo, Katsina, Kaduna, and Plateau.
Mr Adamu made the announcement at the Presidential Communication Team’s weekly press conference in Abuja on Thursday, which was led by President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina.
After meeting the World Bank’s criteria, the states will receive between 50 and 60 million dollars, according to the minister.
“The World Bank and us set some specific criteria,” he explained. The states had to meet these eligibility requirements, and the projects were divided into two categories: tier one and tier two.
“Tier one is for those who will receive a significant sum, perhaps 50 to 60 million dollars for urban schemes.
“The rural component of the P-WASH (Plan – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Action Plan is going to the states, specifically.
“Some of it will be given as a grant, while others will be used for specific projects. And, as I previously stated, there are certain eligibility criteria that states must meet, and they do not apply to all 36 states.
“There are conditions attached to the disbursement of this money.
“So the whole thing hasn’t been finalized yet, but what we have is a general approval from the World Bank specifically for this; there will be some realignments here and there, and that’s something that our ministry, Ministry of Finance, and the World Bank will be working on together.”
Mr Adamu said the federal government is working on 116 ongoing and abandoned water projects across the country as part of his ministry’s activities.
He, on the other hand, expressed displeasure with some states’ abandonment of water projects, warning that Abuja would no longer act as a “Father Christmas” for states that refuse to contribute their counterpart funding to projects in their respective domains.
The minister went on to say that the federal government would no longer contribute more than 30% of the total cost of water projects in states.
He explained that the decision was made after it was discovered that many states were failing to maintain projects in their jurisdictions.
Mr Adamu described how the Bayelsa government halted an N6 billion Otuoke water project that was supposed to serve 13 communities with a total population of 120,000 people because the government claimed it couldn’t afford the N2 or N3 million per month it would cost to provide diesel, pay for staff, and purchase chemicals.
Mr Adamu said, “I know of two places where the federal government built dams and treatment plants and the states didn’t use them.”
“The water project was locked up because the state couldn’t afford N3 million, and the project is the Otuoke water supply project,” says the source.
According to the minister, his ministry has completed 533 water projects, including 38 irrigation, 458 water supply schemes, and 37 dams, in order to boost food production and ensure citizens have access to safe drinking water.