FG to publish spending details, locations of water, sanitation projects

Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu

Nigeria needs $8 billion yearly to achieve sector’s SDGs by 2030

The Federal Government has said it would publish details of spending and locations of water and sanitation projects from 2010 to 2016, as well as details of allocations to the 36 states of the country.This was sequel to a request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on ack of Freedom of Information (FOI) Act.

SERAP had last week asked Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu to “explain why water and sanitation infrastructure in the country have continued to deteriorate while millions of Nigerians have resorted to drinking water from contaminated sources with negative health consequences.

“This is in spite of the authorities’ claims to have spent trillions of naira in budgetary allocations on the sector since 1999.”Adamu in a letter with reference number FMWR/LU/S/374/I and dated March 12, 2018 said: “The Federal Ministry of Water Resources will provide SERAP with the details of spending and the information requested as they relate to water and sanitation projects from 2010 to 2016.

“The ministry was severed from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2010. A copy of your letter will be forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for action on the other years before 2010.”

The letter, signed by Acting Legal Director of the Ministry of Water Resources, P. C. Mbam, also advised that SERAP should send a separate request directly to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development from 1999-2010 outside the ministry’s purview.

Reacting to the development, SERAP’s deputy director, Timothy Adewale said: “We welcome Adamu’s commitment to explain what happened to trillions of naira budgeted for water and sanitation across the country between 2010 and 2016.

“His commitment is refreshing, especially coming at a time when most public institutions and ministries like the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are rejecting public requests for information and making information on the spending of our commonwealth harder to access.

Meanwhile, the country requires about $8 billion annually if it must achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on water and hygiene by 2030.However, only two of the 774 local council areas in the country are free from open defecation. They are Dass Local Council in Bauchi State and Obanliku Local Council in Cross River. 

Chief of Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Zaid Jurji disclosed this yesterday at a media dialogue on Phase 111 Water, Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Project.It is being funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented by UNICEF in Plateau, Ekiti and Adamawa states.

Jurji said no fewer than 46 million Nigerians practice open defecation, adding that Nigeria in year 2000 ranked sixth on the global open defecation index, moved to fifth position in 2011 and third in 2012 while it ranked second in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

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Suleiman Adamu
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