The $150 million rural water supply and sanitation project funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) is currently stalled because of the insurgency in the North-east, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, has said.

Mr Suleiman disclosed this at the interactive session organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management in Abuja on Thursday.

The hearing was on the new loan requests by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president had forwarded a request for fresh loans to the National Assembly for approval.

In separate letters to the two chambers of the National Assembly, the president is seeking approval to borrow $4 billion ($4,054,476,863) and €710 million loans from bilateral and multilateral organisations to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget.

Speaking on the WASH project, Mr Adamu gave the breakdown of beneficiaries of the loans as follows; Adamawa State Government,$33M, Bauchi State Government, $29M, Borno State Government, $38M, Gombe State Government, $16M, Taraba State Government, $16M, unallocated amount, $12M and the federal government $5M.

“The insurgency in parts of Borno and Adamawa States made it difficult for service providers as well as programme staff to gain access to some LGAs and communities within the two states.

“This is expected to be improved owing to the recent government decision. Finally, without any doubt, the advent of COVID-19 pandemic contributes gravely in delaying implementation of the programme,” he said.

Mr Adamu disclosed that each state is directly responsible for the programme implementation while FMWR carries out oversight and quality assurance.

“The entire programme has three main components; service delivery, economic recovery and institutional strengthening.

“The specific objective of the programme is to improve the quality of life by increasing access of the poor and vulnerable to basic social services in water, sanitation, hygiene, health and education; livelihood opportunities, food security and strengthened safety net system in affected states in the North-east.”

The chairman of the committee, Dayyabu Safana (APC, Katsina), said heads of other government agencies will appear before the committee to defend the loan request.

Despite the increasing debt profile, the Buhari administration has continued to borrow while the budget deficit grows annually.

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