Senate committee rejects Buhari’s $ 700 million loan request for water project



Members of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt on Wednesday rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a $ 700 million loan to the National Assembly for the sustainable supply of water, sanitation and hygiene in the environment. urban and rural (SURWASH) under the Ministry of Water Resources.

It comes 24 hours after the health ministry appeared before the committee to seek approval for loans of $ 200 million for the purchase of mosquito nets and malaria medicine.

Lawmakers who in turn questioned the Urban and Rural Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sustainable Supply (SURWASH) loan asked the ministry to provide the committee with updates on the loans collected. so far for water projects within the ministry.

According to the chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, said that three different loans have been approved for various water projects.

Ordia said: “$ 450 million for the Ministry of Water project financed by the African Development Bank and another loan of $ 6 million under the integrated development program also financed by the African Bank of development and the Gurara water project.

“You have to tell us what you are doing with $ 700 million for water projects.”

The Committee therefore agreed to summon the Minister of Water Resources, Adamu Suleiman, to appear before it to explain the loans and the status of loans collected so far.

Speaking against the loan, Senator Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi Central PDP) said he would be against approving the loan as some of the loans collected so far for water projects are unsuccessful.

He said: “This loan, I no longer support this one, that’s enough”

Also opposing the loan, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe (APC Kwara Central) asked what the criteria for selecting recipient states were, adding that the details provided by the permanent secretary of the ministry were not sufficient to justify the loan.

Oloriegbe asked, “What are the criteria for selecting recipient states, the details you provide are not enough, what projects do you want to do with $ 640 million and how many water projects are you going to do.”

“You give $ 3 million to each state to develop staff capacity, do we need a loan to do that function, you mean all states can’t do it alone.”

Senator Sani Musa (APC Niger), while opposing the loan, advised the Committee to consider all requests and choose the one that is necessary.

The Nigerien senator said, “We should look at this loan and take the ones that are needed and we should give up the ones that are not needed. We have to look at it very critically. “

Senator Brima Enagi also protested against the request for loans of $ 700 million for sustainable urban and rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene (SURWASH) which asked the ministry to know the status of the project. Gurara.

Previously, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Ms. Esther Didi Walson-Jack, who was unable to provide an explanation on previous loans approved for water projects, told the Committee that the supply in Urban and Rural Sustainable Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) will last five years.

She added that $ 640 million will be used for the project while the $ 60 million will be used for capacity building.

The permanent secretary said the proposal was negotiated with the World Bank in April 2021 and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on August 11, 2021.

The states that will benefit from the $ 700 loan from the World Bank are Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina and Plateau with matching funding of $ 175 million.

The program will provide improved water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to 2,000 schools and health facilities and help 500 communities achieve open defecation free status.


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Senate committee rejects Buhari’s $ 700 million loan request for water project


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