By Tordue Salem
The Minister of water resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu has blamed delay in the execution of water projects in the The Northeast on insecurity.
The Minister informed that, the African Development Bank (AfDB) assisted Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in the North East could not be executed at the moment.
He disclosed this while speaking at an interactive session with the House of Representatives Committee on Aids,Loans and Debt Management on Thursday.
In a document presented to the Committee, the minister stated that, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) component of the programme is being financed by $150 million loan at both the federal and state levels.
“The loan amounts for each of the project components are as follows:Federal Ministry of Water Resources,$5.9M, Adamawa State Government,$33M, Bauchi State Government, $29M, Borno State Government, $38M, Gombe State Government, $16M, Taraba State Government, 16M, Unallocated Amount, $12M.
“It is worthy to note that, each state is directly responsible for the program implementation while FMWR carries out oversight and quality assurance.
“The entire programme has following three main components;Service Delivery, Economy Recovery and Institutional Strengthening”.
“The Specific objective of the program is to improve the quality of life by increasing access of the poor and vulnerable to basic social services in water, sanitation, hygiene, health and education; livelihood opportunities, food security and strengthened safety net system in affected states in the North East”.
He however disclosed that, while implementation units at both states and federal level are striving hard, they were not able to achieve the expected planned objectives within the scheduled time due to constraints.
According to him, the first disbursement of funds was made eighteen (18) months after the loan agreement was signed, which led to the delay in procurement activities.
He said, another constraint was the lack of understanding of AfDBs mode of operations at the outset especially at the states.
“The insurgency in parts of Borno and Adamawa states made it difficult for service providers as well as program staff to gain access to some LGAs and communities within the two states.
“This is expected to be improved owing to recent government decision. Finally, without any doubt, the advent of COVID-19 pandemic contributes gravely in delaying implementation of the programme,” he said.
The minister further informed that, the awards of contracts for the infrastructure provision commenced in 2020 across the participating states and the physical presence of the programme is becoming noticeable and yielding the deaired results.
“Series of procurement documents for additional facilities construction across the participating sector and statesas well as soft activities and livelihood support are currently undergoing review by the AfDB,” he added.
Similarly, the minister said, the Programme to Rehabilitate and Strengthen the Resilience of Socio-Ecological Systems in the Lake Chad Basin (PRESIBALT) is to alleviate poverty in the area.
“It is a regional five year programme derived from the Five Year Investment Plan of the Lake Chad Basin Commission developed after the Roundtable conference in Bologna in April 4-5, 2014.
“The goal of the Five years investment plan is to improve resilience of vulnerable populations who depend on the natural resources of Lake Chad Basin in Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Central African Republic and Chad,” he added.
After the submission, chairman and members of the committee, Rep. Dayyabu Safana (APC-Katsina) and other members of the committee commended the minister for the submission.
The chairman reiterated that, the essence of the interaction was to ascertain and avail Nigerians about where the loans being approved are being used.