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Giant of Africa, Yet Nigeria Relies on UAE for Potable Water

By Wale Odunsi In yet another reminder of the infrastructural deficit in Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said many pla...

By Wale Odunsi

In yet another reminder of the infrastructural deficit in Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said many places and people across Nigeria lack clean and potable water.

DAILY POST reports that this is despite funds earmarked annually for water projects in the country.

UAE Deputy Ambassador, Khalifa Al- Mehrezi, spoke on Friday at the commissioning of a borehole project in L.E.A Primary School in Dutse Baupma, Bwari Area of Abuja.

Al- Mehrezi explained that the outreach was informed by a lack of access to clean and potable water in some rural communities in the country.

“This particular project was as a result of lack of access to clean and potable water which is a problem in a lot of areas not only Abuja but in Nigeria as a whole”, NAN quoted him as saying.

The official disclosed that the project “is one of the locations we are doing in Abuja”, adding that another is being built in a primary school on airport road.

He confirmed that aside from the FCT, four states – Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Osun – will benefit.

Al-Mehrezi said that the UAE is trying to provide water for people around the country that are in need of potable clean water.

He expressed excitement that the donation “is very good not just for the schools and the students, but for the communities” and thousands of Nigerians.

Al- Mehrezi noted that “having clean and potable water would be one less thing that people will have to worry about”.

UAE and Nigeria are major oil producers and both members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

However, analysts say corruption and mismanagement have left many areas and projects abandoned.

Government expenditure according to CSOs are rarely checked, findings are neither made public nor the indicted officials prosecuted.

In December 2019, a joint report by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) identified corruption as a major problem.

It said graft was “one of the main spoilers of Nigeria’s ambition to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and lift more than 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years”.

Also, Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranked Nigeria 146 on the list of 180.

Last week, BudgIT told President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the payment of government funds into personal accounts.

This followed a study of the Nigerian government’s Open Treasury Initiative.

Buhari, on December 9, 2019, launched the Open Treasury Portal to increase transparency in government spending.

But BudgIT found that sums were paid into personal accounts, including several records with vague descriptions.

The body discovered 5000 payments without descriptions to the tune of N278 billion and 2900 payment records worth N51 billion paid into personal accounts with obscure illustrations.

For instance, there were N68 million and N15.8 million transactions and the payment descriptions were “ogunsuyi” and “international”, respectively.


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