The Japanese government has pledged US$ 13.3 million (about 2 billion naira) for the construction of hand pump borehole equipment and rigs in five states in Nigeria, according to the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ryuichi Shoji.
The privately-owned Guardian newspaper reports Thursday that the Ambassador disclosed this during a courtesy visit to the Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe.
The five states in which the projects are to be sited include Niger, Kebbi, Enugu, Taraba and Ondo.
Shoji said the grant was a demonstration of his country’s commitment to complement the Nigerian government’s efforts at providing social amenities to the people.
The envoy also said the project would contribute towards the reduction of child mortality through the provision of clean water and the realisation of the transformation agenda of the government.
The programme is designed to provide water supply and sanitation facilities in rural areas with the objective of eliminating water-borne diseases, especially in guinea worm endemic areas and to support poverty eradication.
Components of the scheme are the supply of drilling equipment, vehicles, materials, construction of hand-pump boreholes, training and capacity building for the states.
It also includes personnel and continuous monitoring to measure performance in line with the agreed implementation plan.
Responding, the Nigerian Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Ochekpe, lauding the efforts of the Japanese government, saying that the intervention would help to increase the water coverage level and move Nigeria towards the Millennium Development Goals target.
Expressing satisfaction at the existing relationship between the Ministry and the Japanese government, she noted that for over 10 years, the Japanese Development Agency (JICA) had supported the provision of water and capacity building in Nigeria