BY NKECHI NAECHE—-The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Sunday frown at the poor water infrastructure in the country despite high budgetary allocation to the water sector,
The Organization however called for proper inquiry into the high budget allocation to the sector and what it was used for.
According to statement signed by its Deputy Director, Mr Timothy Adewale, on called on the Minister of Water Resources and Rural Development, Mr Suleiman Adamu, to defend the huge sums spent since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.
The statement thus reas: “Nigeria’s water and sanitation infrastructure have continued to deteriorate, and millions of Nigerians have to resort to drinking water from contaminated sources with deadly health consequences.”
The statement added that “despite the authorities claiming to have spent trillions of naira of budgetary allocations on the sector since the return of democracy in 1999.”
“SERAP is deeply concerned with the risk most citizens are subjected to by drinking contaminated water.
He further threatened that his group would resort to taking a legal action should the Minister fail in heeding their demands.
Quoting Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act 2011, he explained further that SERAP is entitled to request for or gain access to information, including information on the details of the expenditure and budgetary spending of the Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development.
“Should Engr. Adamu fail to provide the information within 14 days, SERAP would take all appropriate legal actions to compel the government to act on this matter.
“Also, by virtue of Section 4 (a) of the FOI Act when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution, or urgency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within 7 days after the application is received.
“The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FOI Act. The information requested for, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FOI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public welfare, public peace and concern, the interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.”