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Outcry over Niger Gov wife’s alleged involvement in selling water to residents

By Justina Asishana, Minna

Wife of Niger Governor Dr Amina Abubakar- Bello has drawn the ire of Minna residents over her alleged involvement in selling borehole water to them.

The full solar-driven borehole was dug in front of Limawa Model School in Minna, The Nation observed.

It was learnt the Governor’s wife allegedly got N100 million from partners to drill the borehole and get tankers for water supply to prospective customers.

The residents alleged while populace is suffering from acute water supply, the Governor’s wife is selling water, which her husband should provide for free.

One of the complainants, Ahmed Muktar, told The Nation one of the responsibilities of government is to provide water, describing it as unfortunate the Governor’s wife is selling water instead of giving residents for free.

Another complainant, Sadiya Umar, described it as misplaced priority, lamenting with the money used to provide the facility, government should have fixed water supply challenge in several parts of Minna.

Checks by The Nation showed it costs N2,700 for those with blue trucks to get water from the facility.

But Press Secretary to the Governor’s wife, Rabi Bello, explained the project was executed under one of the interventions by RAISE Foundation, which is the non-governmental organistion of the Governor’s wife.

“It is Raise foundation project and it has nothing to do with the First Lady. The project is being done to raise fund for the organisation. It has nothing to do with the office of the First Lady,” she explained.

Chief Executive Officer of the Raise Foundation, Mrs. Toyin Dawodu, told The Nation the facility is a sustainability project for the Raise Foundation and not a project for an individual.

“It is a sustainability project for Raise Foundation. There is an empowerment arm to it, the tanker riders are being empowered by the water they sell.

“After each sale of a tanker of water, there is a percentage that goes to the rider, a percentage goes to maintaining the actual project and the third percentage goes into all the interventions done by the Foundation.

“The project is for the NGO and not for an individual. It is just like other interventions that Raise Foundation has been doing like the cancer treatment and VVF.

“We want to assure the people that the project is not for the Governor’s wife but for the NGO, which is Raise Foundation with a board of Trustees. It belongs to the NGO and not an individual,” Dawodu emphasised.

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