Ministry of Water Resources says it will make public details of it budgets and spending from from 2010 to 2016 as requested by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project very soon
By Samuel Ibezim
Suleiman Adamu, minister of Water Resources, has agreed to publish budgetary allocations to the ministry from 2010 to 2016. Also, the minister, among other things, is willing to give details of what 36 states and F.C.T Abuja got from the ministry.
The agreement to publish the details came as a result of the demand by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, a non-governmental organisation, to the minister to publish within 14 days with receipt on the spending on specific water and sanitation projects with their locations in the country.
Suleiman Adamu, in a letter dated on March 12, 2018 assured the SERAP that the ministry would work hard to provide SERAP all the necessary details of spending. Further, the minister informed through P.C Mbam, acting director (Legal) of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources that the ministry was separated from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2010 and could not account for year 2009. This is in consideration of SERAP demand for details from 2009 to 2016.
Reacting, Timothy Adewale, SERAP deputy director, thanked the ministry for quick response and advised the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and other government agencies to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and not to withhold information. Adewale promised to write to the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for details from 2009 to 2010.
“We hope that Mr Adamu will act promptly as promised but we will keep our legal options open should he renege on his commitment.
“When the information is finally released as promised, it will be an important step towards reversing a culture of secrecy and corruption that has meant that high-ranking government officials continue to look after themselves at the expense of the well-being of majority of Nigerians, and development of the country.
“We also appreciate Mr Adamu’s clarifications on the role of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and will be sending the Minister Audu Ogbeh an FOI request very shortly to seek explanations from him on how public funds meant for water and sanitation were spent for the periods 1999—2010,” Adewale said.
It would be recalled that SERAP wrote a letter to the minister on March 2, 2018 over negative environmental impacts because of lack of water despite receiving billions of money from government and foreign financial supports on water and demanded that details of expenses be published.
“Nigeria has received donations running into several billions of dollars from the African Development Bank, the European Union, UNICEF, USAID, World Bank among others to implement water projects without any feasible improvement on access to water. The African Development Bank has invested over $905 million in the sector since 1971. Nigeria is currently investing over N85 billion in the water sector, yet millions of Nigerians do not have access to portable water, and have resorted to drilling of boreholes, with negative environmental impacts,” he said.
– Mar. 14, 2018 @ 12:05 GMT |