The Nigerian Minister of Water resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu has revealed that the Federal Government has negotiated a development loan of about $700 million for Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) projects on behalf of States.
Engr Adamu stated this during a ‘Lunch time forum with water correspondents’ penultimate Thursday.
The meeting was an initiative by the Press Office of the Ministry to enable better engagement with journalists; and as well provide an opportunity for the ministry to present Nigerians with facts and information on critical infrastructure and policies that have changed the sector over the last seven years of the Buhari-led administration.
According to the Minister “We need the States to invest more in WASH. The Federal Government has provided all the groundwork, an action plan, including direct interventions for urban and rural water supply in States”.
Adamu insists that the Federal Government has provided the states with every incentive for them to do the needful. And this loan facility, termed ‘The WASH Fund” is another opportunity to support the states in doing the needful. ‘We still need high level of political will and support from States to be able to deliver on water and sanitation.”, says Adamu.
“The WASH Fund is being created under the National Water Resources Bill“
It would be recalled that in 2021, the Nigerian Government sought approval for a $700million loan for Nigeria’s ‘SURWASH’ Programme. The objective was to provide provide six million people with basic drinking water services and 1.4 million people access to improved sanitation services.
These services would include delivery of improved water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to 2,000 schools and Health Care Facilities and assist 500 Communities to achieve open defecation free status.
Such interventions are what have led to having over 15million Nigerians benefit from the water projects executed by the ministry since the entry of the Buhari-led administration; and the declaration of 83 Local Government Areas across the country as Open Defecation Free (ODF) communities.
Continuing his address, the minister disclosed that all these shows that tremendous progress and improvement have been made in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sub-sector.
The Minister also disclosed that soon Jigawa State would be announced as the first ODF State in Nigeria as 26 out of the 27 local government areas of the State have attained the ODF status.
He therefore urged Other States and Local Government Areas to come up with laws that would deter people from open defecation practice after providing the facilities for them to stop the practice, hence using the carrot and stick approach.