Senators Reject Buhari’s $700m Loan Request For Water Project - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS

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Thursday, October 28, 2021

Senators Reject Buhari’s $700m Loan Request For Water Project


ABUJA - Members of Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt on Wednesday rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s $700 million loan request to the National Assembly for Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) under the  Ministry of Water Resources.


This is coming twenty-fours hours  after the Ministry of Health appeared before the Committee to seek approval for $200 million for procurement of mosquito nets and Malaria medicines.


The lawmakers who took turn to fault the loan for Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) asked the Ministry to furnish the Committee with update of loans collected so far for the Water Projects in the Ministry.


According to the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia stated three different loans have been approved for various water projects.


Ordia said, ”$450 million for the Ministry for water project being financed Africa Development Bank and another $6 million loan under integrated program for Development also financed by Africa Development Bank and Gurara water project.

 

“You need 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 give explanation on the loans and state of loans collected so far.


Speaking against the loan, Senator Obinna Ogba said that he will against grant approval for the loan because t some loans have been collected for water projects and yet to see result.


He said,” this loan, I don’t support this one again, enough is enough .”


Also kicking against the loan,  Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe asked what is the criteria for selecting benefiting states adding that details provided by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry is not enough to justify the loan .


Oloriegbe asked, ”what is the criteria for selecting benefiting states, the details you are providing is not enough, what are the projects you want to do with $640 million and how many water are you going to do. You are giving each state $3 million to develop personnel capacity. do we need loan to do this function, you mean all states can’t do that on their own.”


Senator Sani Musa while kicking against the loan advice the Committee to look at all the request and pick the one that is necessary.


The Niger Senator said, "we should look at this loan and take the one that are necessary and we should abandoned the one that are not necessary. We need to look at it very critically.”

 

Senator Brima Enagi also protested against the request for $700 million loan for Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) demanding for state of Gurara project from the Ministry.


Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs Esther Didi Walson-Jack who was unable to give explanation to the previous loans approved for water projects told the Committee that


Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) will last for 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 that the proposal was negotiated with  World Bank on April, 2022 and was approved at Federal Executive Council (FEC) on August 11, 2021.


States that will benefited from the $700 loan from World Bank are  Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, and Plateau with counterpart funding of $175 million.


The program will deliver improved water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services to 2,000 schools and health care facilities and assist 500 Communities to achieve open defecation-free status.


In another development, the Senate has resolved to increase the daily feeding cost of a prisoner per day, from N750 to N1,000 proposed by the executive in the 2022 budget.

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