House of Reps Committee investigates Ministry for using N4 billion to recruit sanitation officers
The House of Representatives Public Account Committee has raised concerns over the Ministry of Water Resources’ utilisation of N4 billion for the employment of 100 personnel over a three-month period for the “Youth Engagement for Sanitation (YES)” project spanning the 774 local government areas in Nigeria.
At the committee hearing investigating the alleged mismanagement of COVID-19 intervention funds covering 2020 through 2022, Rep. Bamidele Salam, the committee chairman, expressed dismay over the Ministry’s reported expenditure of N25 million to N12.5 million per unit for sinking boreholes, deeming it an unacceptable allocation of resources.
Responding to the queries, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, disclosed that the boreholes were constructed in various locations nationwide, accompanied by an implementation of 299 new water schemes and the revival of 188 old and abandoned solar boreholes during the same timeframe.
The committee, led by Salam, expressed skepticism and resolved to perform on-site project verification to ensure the validity of the reported projects and avoid confusion with initiatives undertaken by individual members.
Emphasizing the need for transparency, the committee further sought details about the recruitment process, the list of recruited youths, their bank account particulars, and the disbursal schedule.
Salam announced the committee’s plans for on-site verifications in states including: Osun and Ogun in the South West; Akwa Ibom and Edo in the South; Imo and Ebonyi in the South East; Kwara, Nasarawa, and Benue in North Central; Katsina and Sokoto in the North West; and Bauchi and Adamawa in the North East, asserting that the integrity of utilized funds and the success of projects are paramount to the committee.