The Federal Government has secured a $700m loan from the World Bank for specific water projects in the country, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said.
According to him, most of the problems associated with water supply in the country are the responsibilities of state governments.
The minister said these in an interview with journalists on Monday night during the maiden edition of the Rewards and Recognition Awards ceremony organised by the ministry in Abuja.
He said seven states, comprising Imo, Delta, Bauchi, Ekiti, Katsina, Kaduna and Plateau, were expected to benefit from the first tranche of the loan.
According to him, the duty of the Federal Government in the area of water supply is to provide support to states.
The minister noted that lack of access to potable water had been a major problem for Nigerian communities.
He said, “What Nigerians need to understand is that the Federal Government is not responsible for providing water in their taps; that is the responsibility of state governments and that is why we don’t have a federal water board.
“We are just trying hard to support them (states). All the incentives, like P-WASH (Plan–Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Action Plan, declaration of a state of emergency by the President, and many more are efforts by the Federal Government to push the states to invest more in water.
“The states are primarily responsible for providing water for the people. If they don’t invest, what can we do? We have drawn the policies; we have done so many things. We are the first to even put a budget line to support state governments for water supply.”
He noted that the water resources policy was relaunched in 2016, saying, “We have been able to generate from the World Bank $700m. This money is not going to be spent by the Federal Government; it is going to the states for them to improve their water supply situation.
“There is nothing the Federal Government has not done. It is left to the states; Some are doing very well, while some are not doing as much as we wanted.”
Adamu expressed confidence that the National Water Resources Bill, currently before the National Assembly but had generated controversies, would be passed in 2022.