How Ministry of Water Resources spentN4bn on personnel recruitment, sankborehole for N12m

How Ministry of Water Resources spentN4bn on personnel recruitment, sankborehole for N12m

The House of Representatives Public Account Committee has queried the Ministry of Water Resources for spending N4 billion on the recruitment of 100 personnel for a period of three months.

The money was said to be for a project known as Youth Engagement for Sanitation (YES) across the 774 local government areas in the country.

Rep. Bamidele Salam, the chairman of the committee, issued the query while investigating the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) of the government on the alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds from 2020–2022.

He also queried the Ministry for reportedly sinking a borehole between N25 million and N12.5 million per unit, describing it as unacceptable.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, told the Committee that the boreholes were sunk in some locations across the states of the Federation and the FCT.

“In total, 299 new water schemes were embarked upon during the period, just as a total of 188 old and abandoned solar boreholes were resuscitated during the period,” he said.

He said that each state of the federation received 10 million naira in intervention items.

The committee member took it upon himself to request the existence of such projects to ascertain their authenticity and avoid mixing them up with projects executed by members.

The committee members also sought to know the modality of recruitment of the personnel, the full list of the youths involved, their account numbers, and the schedule of payments sent to their respective banks.

Salam, however, said that the committee would embark on project verification, adding that it would not only be limited to the Ministry but to other MDAs who claimed to have done one project or another.

“The Committee will need to go and see exactly what is on the ground so that we can have value for money.”

He announced the states to be visited for the physical verification to include: Osun and Ogun in the South West; AkwaIbom and Edo in the South; and Imo and Ebonyi in the South East.

Others include Kwara, Nasarawa, and Benue in North Central; Katsina and Sokoto in the North West; and Bauchi and Adamawa in the North East.