Nigeria secures $700m World Bank loan for water projects
The Federal Government said it has secured a $700 million loan from the World Bank for specific water projects in the country.
The government said most of the problems associated with water supply in the country are the responsibilities of state governments.
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, made the disclosure while speaking to journalists at the sideline of the maiden Rewards and Recognition awards ceremony organised by the ministry in Abuja.
He said the Federal Government’s job in the area of water supply is to provide support for states.
The event was put together to celebrate and motivate efficient employees in the ministry who had distinguished themselves in the course of duty.
About seven states, comprising Imo, Delta, Bauchi, Ekiti, Katsina, Kaduna and Plateau are expected to benefit from the first tier of the $700 million loan.
Admitting that lack of access to portable water had been a major problem for Nigerian communities, the minister said, “what Nigerians need to understand is that 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 state of emergency by the president are efforts and many more are efforts by the Federal Government to push the states to invest more in water.
“The people are not in the Federal Government. They are in the states. 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.
Adamu expressed confidence that the National Water Resources Bill currently before the National Assembly, which had generated controversies would be passed in 2022.
“It will be passed in 2022. At this point, the budget is the most important thing. The national assembly is already engrossed in dealing with the 2022 budget. I can assure you that after the budget, their attention will go back to it and we hope that it will be passed in 2022,” the minister stated.
He noted that the implementation of the Rewards and Recognition Policy in the ministry showed deliberate efforts in providing the necessary motivation and incentives to inspire Civil Servants to put in their best.
According to him, the system is a recognition that employees have other intrinsic needs other than monetary needs alone.
“The intrinsic need for recognition. encouragement, and reward of outstanding performance forms the other pillar on which the rewards policy stands. We need to appreciate those that have helped us. A motivated workforce is an efficient workforce”, he stated.
In his remarks, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, regretted that the civil service had for long abandoned the practice of an incentive and reward system for employees.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Dr. Habiba Lawal, the SGF maintained that “all over the world, it is agreed that when workers are recognised, not always in monetary terms, they are propelled to do better and commit more to help the organisation achieve its goals.”
Mustapha challenged those that were not so recognised to commit themselves to do more and be amongst the next set of awardees, adding that a healthy competitive spirit would help in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery in the ministry.
Speaking, Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan assured that the welfare of staff occupies a key position in the Civil Service strategy and implementation plan (2021-2025).
Yemi-Esan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Ngozi Onwudiwe, explained that the reward system would play a pivotal role in the implementation of the strategy which she noted is aimed at repositioning the service to become a world-class service that will be efficient and citizen-centered.