BY FUNMI OLASUPO
Abuja—The World Bank has approved $400,000 million for Federal Government to develop water and sanitation programme.
World Bank representative on Water and Sanitation Programme, WSP, in Nigeria, Mr. Alexander Danilenko, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the 2nd training workshop on water agencies’ performance assessment and benchmarking in Nigeria.
He said: “This means that this is the very first stage of the reform system and the next step of water reform will be to provide the resources.
“The terms of World Bank law to pay back this loan is 30 years repayment period with 5 years grace period so no payment until then.”
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Alhaji Baba Umar Faruk, disclosed that the overall economic loss in Africa alone due to lack of access to safe water and basic sanitation was estimated at $28.4 billion a year, which is around 5 percent of GDP.
Faruk, who was represented by the Director of Human Resources, Mr. Adeboye Adeoye, said: “Our nation continues to have the lion share of this loss due to our peculiar situation and the more we delay in addressing our water challenges the more the loss we will continue to suffer.
“United Nations World Water Development has reported has that “the overall economic loss in the Africa alone due to lack of access to safe water and basic sanitation is estimated at $28.4 billion a year which is around 5 percent of GDP.
“We are mindful that our water sector is growing despite all difficulties, but the growth should be commensurate with the demand of the country’s population growth”.
“There is evidently low revenue from the customers and weak finances for the agencies with consequent neglect of maintenance and assets deterioration that further worsen the services.
“This workshop is therefore sufficient to all the water agencies to enable them ascertain their true positions in the stagnation cycle and begin to address them for enhanced service delivery to the citizens.
“I wish to call on all state governments to give the water agencies the necessary supports including autonomy that will enable them achieve their tasks.”