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FG seeks World Bank funding to address water, sanitation

by Haruna Gimba
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By Muhammad Amaan

The Federal Government of Nigeria has urged the World Bank to increase funding and support to address pressing water and sanitation challenges facing the country.

The Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation, Professor Joseph Utsev made the call during a meeting with the outgoing and incoming World Bank Country Directors, Mr Shubham Chaudhuri and Ndiame Diop, respectively, in Abuja.

Acknowledging Nigeria’s longstanding partnership with the World Bank, Prof. Utsev stressed its pivotal role, noting that the administration of President Bola Tinubu is committed to advancing livelihoods through the Renewed Hope Agenda.

The agenda, he said, encompassed initiatives aimed at enhancing electricity provision, strengthening food production via irrigation farming, ensuring access to safe water, and improving sanitation.

He said the ministry was anticipating further funding for the Sustainable Power and Irrigation Project for Nigeria (SPIN).

Utsev expressed optimism that the initiative would not only generate employment opportunities for the youth, but also augment power generation and agricultural output, thereby enhancing the overall well-being of citizens.

The minister reiterated the Federal Government’s dedication to engaging Nigerian youth in productive endeavours such as agriculture, along with other youth-centric programmes initiated by the President.

Earlier, Chaudhuri commended Nigeria’s strides in the water and sanitation sector and assured the minister of the organisation’s continued support under the new leadership.

He thanked the people and government of Nigeria in their support for all World Bank interventions, saying such assistance should be given to his predecessor.

In response, the incoming Country Director, Ndiame Diop, affirmed the World Bank’s commitment to collaborating closely with the ministry to identify priority areas for intervention.

Additionally, Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Sanitation, Alhaji Shehu Shinkafi, urged the World Bank to expedite the approval process for grants to enable the country to benefit more from its interventions.

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