By Festus Ahon
ASABA—THE European Union, EU, assisted Niger Delta Support Programme, NDSP, may exclude 568 communities across four states in the Niger Delta region from its water and sanitation component should the state governments fail to pay their counterpart funds before September 30.
The EU Technical Assistant, Mr. Albert Achten, who made the disclosure when he led a delegation of the EU on a courtesy call on Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, in Asaba, said that the defaulting states include Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Edo and Rivers.
While commending Delta State for being the only state among the five participating states that has paid its counterpart funds, Achten thanked the Delta State Government for its support for the water and sanitation programme.
He explained that a participating state was expected to contribute 30 percent, representing N400 million in order to attract the release of the balance of 70 percent, which is N933 million, from the European Union.
Reiterating that many benefiting communities in the defaulting states had paid the five percent required for future operation and maintenance of water facilities to be constructed, for ownership sake, Achten said that the programme was aimed at improving policy, institutional, legal and financial framework in the water and sanitation sector.
According to him, the programme was aimed at supporting urban, small towns and rural sector institutions to deliver sustainable water supply and sanitation services, disclosing that a total of 45 small towns and 662 rural communities across the five participating states were expected to benefit from the programme should all the state governments comply by paying up their counterpart funds.