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Kagara Dam: Senate orders committee to investigate delay in completion

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The Senate has directed its Committee on Water Resources to investigate delay in completion of Kagara Dam and one million gallon water treatment plant in Niger state.

The mandate, followed adoption of a motion at plenary on the urgent need for the Federal Government to complete Kagara dam and one million gallon water treatment plant in Niger State.

The motion has Sen. Mohammed Sani (APC Niger) as sponsor and 19 senators as co-sponsors.
Presenting the motion, Sani revealed that Kagara dam was first conceived and awarded by Niger Government to Kano-based Company, WRECA in 1992.

He said the sole purpose of the project was to provide portable water and irrigation needs to Kagara people and its environs to cover approximately 1,000 hectares of land.

He said because of its importance, the project was taken over by the Federal Government and awarded to Biwater Shellaber Nigeria Limited in December 1992 at the cost of N199 million .

Sani said the contract had suffered so many neglects and abandonments because of lack of substantial fund which necessitated its renegotiation in 2001.
He said the project was renegotiated at the cost N2.219 billion.

He said that in spite of the completion of work at 68 per cent, in 2006, the contractor had to stop work again because of non release of substantial fund.

He said, given the delay and eventual inflationary cost of materials, the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority, the supervising Agency, issued a revised estimated cost of N5.5billion to complete the project in 2010.

“Disturbed that if the projects continue to be operated in a

“stop and go” manner the dream of our people for portable water and economic empowerment through irrigation farming will remain a mirage,” he said.

He said if urgent action was not taken the purpose of taking over the project by the Federal Government in December 1992, subsequent budgetary allocation and work done would have been a waste.

Contributing to the motion, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi (APC-Niger), who seconded the motion said provision of water was synonymous to life.

He said there was the need to complete the project given its importance to the growth and development of the people.
However, Sen. Uche Ekwunife (PDP-Anambra) in her contribution decried the high level of abandoned projects in the country.

“We are talking about another abandoned project; this project was awarded in 1992 and was taken over by the Federal Government because of its importance.

“After 27 years we are still talking of how to complete the project.

“Mr President, this is a policy summersault, it is about successive governments not attending to the projects started by their predecessors,” she said.

According to her, she will propose a bill for establishment of a Project Monitoring Agency, which will be an independent agency in charge of all the ongoing projects.

She said it would be the duty of the agency to hand over and ensure that successive governments complete laudable projects started by their predecessors.

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