The Federal Government has commenced dialogue with the World Bank to secure a $75 million loan to provide water in communities nationwide.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, made the disclosure at an interactive session with media executives in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that government planned to commence a pilot programme of the water supply in six cities in the country. He, however, did not name the cities to benefit.
“We’re trying to get the states to invest in water as part of our plan to implement the water resources master plan.”
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that lack of access to portable water had been a major problem for Nigerian communities for centuries.
The development has resulted to poor hygiene in most of the rural communities where majority of Nigerian citizens reside.
The minister said that government was also seeking fund to tackle the perennial flooding along River Niger and River Benue.
He defended the penchant of government to build dams in the northern areas of the country, arguing that Southern Nigeria does not need dams because the area has enough rainfall all year round.
Citing Oji River in Enugu State, Adamu spoke of a well that was built in the town in 1913, saying that the well is still spilling water and constituting hazards to residents.
The minister pointed out that provision of potable water was entirely the responsibility of state governments and local government councils, noting that the federal government is intervening to provide water for the populace.
He stressed the need for the public, especially media practitioners, to support the Water Resources Bill being pushed by the federal government.
“The Water Resources Bill must be passed for the nation to move forward in the water resources sector,” Adamu stated.