The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) says Nigeria’s federal government has agreed to publish details of spending and allocations to water and sanitation projects between 2010 and 2016 across the country.
It said the water resources minister Suleiman Adamu responded to SERAP freedom of information request to say the ministry will work hard to provide details of spending and information related to it over the period.
Adamu also said, “The Federal Ministry of Water Resources was demerged from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2010. A copy of your letter will be forwarded to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for action on the other years before 2010.”
SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale said in a statement, “We welcome the firm commitment by Adamu to explain to Nigerians what exactly have happened to trillions of naira budgeted for water and sanitation across the country between 2010–2016. Mr Adamu’s commitment is refreshing, especially coming at a time many public institutions and ministries such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) are rejecting public requests for information and making information on the spending our commonwealth harder to access.”
“We hope that Mr Adamu will act promptly as promised but we will keep our legal options open should he renege on his commitment.”
Releasing the information will “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.”
SERAP issued the request after it raised concern that millions of Nigerians do not have access to clean and potable water and adequate sanitation.
“There is no water to show for the huge budgetary allocations and purported spending and investment in the sector since the return of democracy in 1999. Successive governments have failed to improve affordability of water for millions of low-income Nigerians, thereby denying them access to water.”