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World Bank approves $250 million credit for water projects in Nigeria

22 April 2014, 09:35

Abuja - The World Bank says it has approved a credit of 250 million US dollars to help the Nigerian Government continue its efforts to increase access to water supply services.

A statement in Abuja on Monday by the World Bank’s Communications Associate, Africa Region, Mr Bamidele Oladokun, said the credit facility would also help to improve existing water utilities.

It said the project was important because it seeks to open up time for the poor to pursue education and income-generating activities.

“It will also give the poor the opportunity to help themselves out of poverty, instead of spending endless hours fetching water,” the statement said.

It added that the funds would target the poor, urban population living in the state capitals and their surroundings, and will benefit some two million people in Nigeria.

“This credit supports the Third National Urban Water Sector Reform Project and responds to the Government of Nigeria’s goal of developing more effective mechanisms for social service delivery, particularly water service, as a means to address inequities in income and opportunities.”

“The funds will help rehabilitate and build the water delivery infrastructure and institutional systems needed to expand access to water supply services for people in selected cities in Bauchi state, as well as Ekiti and Rivers.”

“A portion of the project is performance-based and will include incentives for improving the performance of the water supply institutions in the three states,” the statement said.

It stated also that the World Bank plans to provide technical and financial assistance to State Governments in Kano, Gombe, Benue, Jigawa, Ondo, Abia, Bayelsa, Anambra, and Plateau.

The statement said the assistance to these states was to help prepare them for large water supply investments that could be financed in the future.

“The Federal Ministry of Water Resources, tasked with providing sustainable access to safe and sufficient water to all Nigerians, will also benefit from this.”

“The ministry will be strengthened to monitor and benchmark the water sector’s performance,” it stated.

-    NAN

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