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FG Secures $700m World Bank Loan to Tackle Poor Water Supply

The federal government has disclosed that it has secured a $700 million World Bank loan for specific water projects around the country.

The Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu, made this known on Monday, during a chat with newsmen on the sidelines of the ministry’s inaugural awards ceremony of the Rewards and Recognition System in Abuja.

According to Adamu, the federal government’s role was to support state governments, which he said have the lion’s share of the responsibility for water supply.

“What Nigerians need to understand is that the 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.

“All the incentives like P-WASH (Plan – Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) Action Plan, declaration of state of emergency by the president are efforts by the federal government to push the states to invest more in water.

“We re-launched the water resources policy in 2016. We have been able to generate from the World Bank $700 million. This money is not going to be spent by the Federal Government; it is going to the states for them to improve their water supply situation,” the minister said.

Seven states (Imo, Delta, Bauchi, Ekiti, Katsina, Kaduna and Plateau) are expected to be beneficiaries of the first phase of the World Bank loan.

The Rewards and Recognition System Awards Ceremony was organised to recognise and celebrate the ministry’s employees, who have put in stellar performances at their duty posts.

Adamu expressed confidence that the National Water Resources Bill, currently before the National Assembly, will 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 institution of the Rewards and Recognition Policy in the ministry was a deliberate means of inspiring civil servants to be more efficient.

According to him, the system recognises that staff have other needs aside from monetary ones.

“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.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, expressed regret that civil servants had for long, not been incentivised and rewarded.

Mustapha, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Dr. Habiba Lawal, stated that when workers are rewarded, not just financially, they are motivated to contribute more to organisational goals.

He counselled those who missed out on being recognised to rededicate themselves to make the ministry more efficient.

The Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, declared that staff welfare was on the priority list of the Civil Service strategy and Implementation Plan (2021-2025).

Yemi-Esan, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, Ngozi Onwudiwe, said the reward system was vital to the implementation of the strategy, which is aimed at making the service world-class and citizen-focused.

Source: This Day

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