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Reps query Water Resources Ministry for spending N4bn on recruitment of 100 sanitation personnel

The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has queried the Ministry of Water Resources for spending N4 billion on recruiting 100 personnel in 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 committee chairman, 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 Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Didi Walson-Jack, told the committee that the boreholes were sunk in some locations across all states 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 each state received N10 million in intervention items.

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

The committee member requested the existence of such projects to ascertain their authenticity and avoid mixing them up with those executed by members.

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

Mr Salam, however, said the committee would embark on project verification, adding that it would not only be limited to the ministry but 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 stated.

He announced the states to be visited for the physical verification to include Osun and Ogun in the South-West, Akwa Ibom and Edo in the South, and Imo and Ebonyi in the South-East.

Others include Kwara, Nasarawa, and Benue in the North-Central, Katsina and Sokoto in the North-West, and Bauchi and Adamawa in the North-East. (NAN)

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