At least 12 states in the country are to receive a $350 million (about N56 billion) World Bank support to boost water supply, the bank’s Senior Water and Sanitation Specialist, Mr Alexander Danilenko, said. Danilenko, who made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday, identified the states to include Ekiti, Rivers, and Bauchi.
He said that the funds would also be used to support nine other states with a view to expanding water supply to as many Nigerians as possible.
“The objective of the World Bank new project, which is about 350 million dollars, is to support three states with direct investment and nine states with technical assistance to expand water to as many people as possible. “And to provide sustainable water sources and guarantee that water is affordable for everyone who gets this water.
“So, it’s Ekiti, Rivers, and Bauchi, where investment will take place; it’s about 80 million dollars in each state and another 100 million dollars, which will be used for quick fix on emergency works in other nine states.“
The water and sanitation specialist said the funds would be used for the construction and rehabilitation of water networks as well as the building of reservoirs and capacities to guarantee water supply to Nigerians.
Danilenko spoke of the need for Nigeria to give special attention to water issues in its development programme. He, therefore, called for more investment in the water sector, saying that water was critical in providing resources to empower people.
“The idea is that water supply will make people working. It is a very bad idea if people are looking for or spending energy and time for water instead of spending on educating their children. “But instead they are searching for water which is not good use of human resources,“ he said. (NAN)