The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has approved $1.12 billion dollars for development projects across Nigeria since 2005 to address various infrastructural challenges faced by the country, the Regional Manager has said.
Regional Manager, Regional Hub of the Bank, Mr. Mayero Nyang, while reacting to the commissioning of the Zaria Water Project in Kaduna state by President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend, expressed worry that 71 million Nigerians lack access to potable water, while vowing that the Bank would step up its programme to address the challenge towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Since Nigeria joined the Islamic Development Bank Group in 2005, the partnership between the country and IsDB has waxed stronger with the IsDB Bank Group’s approval of over $1.12 billion for various developmental projects across the country. In line with this momentum, the Bank has recently upgraded the Country Gateway Office of Abuja to a Regional Hub covering eight African countries including Nigeria.
“Currently, in addition to the two water supply projects in Kaduna state ($81million) and Osun state ($65million) in Nigeria, the bank is implementing various agricultural, health, education projects in Kaduna, Jigawa and Kano states as well as the planned National Malaria Project and the Abakaliki Road in Ebonyi state,” he said.
Nyang lauded the African Development Bank for its role played in the completion of the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project in Kaduna state.
“May I use this opportunity to thank the partners that have cooperated and contributed in implementing this landmark project, which components include the construction of New Galma Dam, 150 million litres per day Water Treatment Plant, laying of 350km of distribution network, 73km of new transmission mains, construction and rehabilitation of booster stations and 10 service reservoirs and elevated tanks of 40 million litres capacity.
“IsDB is particularly glad that the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project has indeed contributed to the great efforts by the country towards the attainment of the SDGs and delighted that the project is coming at a time when the Federal Government has declared a state of emergency on the water supply and sanitation sector.
“This is particularly important where in Nigeria about 71 million people continue to live without access to improved potable water supply, while 130 million people do not have access to adequate sanitation,” he added.
“The Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project has relieved the hardship faced by the citizens over 30 years including women, children and physically challenged. The project now provides access to safe drinking water and sanitation to more than 2 million people.
“The timely completion of the project and the efficiency in use of funds show good example of service delivery by the management and staff of Kaduna state, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the Federal Ministry of Finance,” he said.
He assured that the Bank has concurred with the recommendation of the state government to use part of the project savings ($13 million) to extend the water supply system to benefit additional communities.
“The Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project will contribute to improving the Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector that will have significant implications for poverty reduction and human development outcomes for Kaduna state,” he stressed.