By Luminous Jannamike
The Federal Government has said that seven State Governments in the country will soon access the World Bank’s $700m loan for water projects approved by the Federal Executive Council.
This was made known by the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, while speaking at the 1st Rewards and Recognition Awards Ceremony organised by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, in Abuja, Tuesday.
The Minister also expressed optimism that the Water Resources Bill would be passed by the National Assembly and given the Presidential nod to become law in January 2022.
The $700m loan would be used to finance the Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene projects for five years in Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, and Plateau States.
The programme is expected to deliver improved water, sanitation and hygiene services to 2,000 schools and health care facilities and assist 500 communities to achieve an end to open defecation free status.
Admitting that lack of access to potable water a problem for many communities, the Minister said: “Right now, we have been able to generate from the World Bank $700m for States to improve on the water supply situation. Some States Governments are doing very well while others are not doing as much as we want them to do.
“So, what we do is to try very hard to support the States. All the incentives and efforts, we are putting in place is to encourage the States to invest more in water.
“The Water Resources Bill will be passed in 2022 by God’s grace. At this point the budget is the most important thing, but I can assure you that after the budget, it will be passed in 2022.”
On the objectives of the intra-Ministry awards, Adamu stated that the Rewards and Recognition Policy of the government was a deliberate move to provide motivation and incentive to deserving civil servants to keep putting in their best in the service of the nation.
Earlier, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, stated that a healthy competitive spirit would help in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in the ministry.
He, therefore, challenged those that did not win any laurel to commit themselves to doing their best for the nation.
While commending the Ministry of Water Resources for the initiative, Mustapha said: “As you continue with this recognition system, I also urge you to put in place an effective consequence management system so that the rewards system becomes a tool for improving productivity within the Ministry.”
In her goodwill message, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan assured that the welfare of staff would continue to occupy a key position in the Civil Service strategy and implementation plan.