Minister of water resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, said that Nigeria has over 400 abandoned water projects across the country.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) report of 2013, access to water supply in Nigeria was 67 per cent and access to sanitation facilities was 41 per cent.
An estimated 100 million Nigerians still lack basic sanitation facilities and 63 million do not have access to improved sources of drinking water.
But the minister of water resources, while defending the ministry’s 2022 budget, said the abandoned water projects are mostly dams and were cited where it is impossible to be constructed.
Adamu, who lamented the spate of abandoned dams across the country, said: “We have over 400 dams but many of them have no utilisation downstream. Anybody can come and invest in the dams.”
Speaking on the budget for 2022, the minister presented N81 billion for his ministry while the N70.4 billion budget was for the agencies under the ministry of water resources.
The capital projects for the entire ministry is put at N78 billion, personnel cost, N2 billion while the overheads was put at N278 million.
The agencies under the ministry proposed a capital budget of N62.1 billion while personnel is pegged at N7.2 billion and earmarked N1 billion for overhead.
The minister in his presentation told the committee of their decision to create a line item for public private partnership in line with extant circular.
He said the ministry is focusing on mobilising private investment for infrastructure development.
But the Senate, which had earlier uncovered over 400 abandoned water projects across the country, said even though the ministry prioritises dams, only 20 dams have been identified to be completed.
The chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Bello Mandiya said,” The minister met about 400 water projects scattered all over the country. What he did was to prioritise because some dams were even cited where dams cannot be constructed.
“What he did was to prioritise and he has been able to complete some and decided to do others. About 20 of them from now till the end of his tenure will be completed. So, the ministry is very clear about this.
“If we compare and contrast between what this government has done with previous governments in the water sector, you will realise that this government has done very well.”