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Minister tells court how over N2bn was spent on 292 water projects

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Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Suleiman Adamu, has informed a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos how his ministry spent over N2 billion on water projects across the country.

The revelations were contained in a document submitted to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, in response to the group’s request, based on Freedom of Information, FoI, Act, to disclose what it has expended in view of the scarcity experienced by Nigerians.

According to the document, the ministry stated how it expended the funds between 2010 and 2016. The documents were presented last week before the Federal High Court in Lagos.

Mr. Adamu had in September asked the court to grant the Ministry more time within which to compile and furnish SERAP with information on the spending on water, and locations of specific projects, in view of the high volume of the information involved.

When the case up last Friday, the court asked the minister’s lawyer: “If SERAP is asking for information, why is your ministry not providing it?” Mr. Adamu’s lawyer answered: “we have just furnished SERAP with the information they requested.” The court welcomed the action by the ministry of water resources, and said that the ministry of agriculture too should give SERAP the information requested rather than coming to court.

In its response, SERAP, through its deputy director, Timothy Adewale that they are studying the documents, while promising to publish the full information together with their analysis on our website and social media platforms shortly.

“We are now sharing the information on just 19 of the 292 projects, with summaries of some of the amounts spent. We have also set up a verification team to check the status of projects against the total amounts reportedly spent.”

He also urged the minister of agriculture and rural development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh to emulate Mr. Adamu by immediately releasing information on spending in his ministry, as stated by the court.

The projects cut across Adamawa, Delta and Ekiti, Jigawa, Kebbi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Niger and host of others.

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