The Dutch government has suspended all its development aid to Benin over corruption in the implementation of the second phase of a water and sanitation project, a source from the Dutch Embassy in Cotonou said Wednesday.
The Netherlands and Benin had signed an agreement for implementation of a second phase of the project costing a total of 40,524 billion CFA Francs (over 67 million U.S. dollars) for the period between 2013-2015.
The project was aimed at guaranteeing the population’s access to water, controlling risks associated with water management and contributing to the promotion of hygiene and basic sanitation, the statement said.
According to the agreement, a financial and technical audit of the project’s implementation was to be carried out every year.
“The final conclusions of the 2014 audit revealed irregularities in the management of the program by officials from Benin’s water ministry,” the statement said.
“Given the gravity of the situation, the Netherlands government has taken the following measures: stopping further funding for the second phase of the project, suspending implementation of any financial support agreement and suspending execution of all other development projects supported by the Netherlands in Benin,” the statement concluded. Enditem