Senate in session

BY GRACE ANYANWU, BUJA –  The Senate has mandated its Committee on Water Resources to investigate the delay in the execution of Kagara dam in Niger State despite the receipt of funding to the tune of N7.7 billion from the Federal Government.

The upper chamber also called on the Federal Government to consider the socio-economic importance of the project and see to its completion without further delay.

These were resolutions reached by the Senate sequel to consideration of a motion at Thursday’s plenary.

Sponsor of the motion, Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), disclosed that the Kagara dam was first conceived and awarded by the Niger State Government to a Kano State based company, WRECA, in 1992.

Musa said that the project was conceptualised to provide portable water and irrigation to Kagara and its environs, adding that due to the importance of the project, the Federal Government took over its execution and awarded same to Biwater Shellaber (Nig.) Limited in December, 1992 at the cost of N199, 222,596.

The lawmaker said the project suffered neglect because of lack of funding which necessitated its renegotiation in the year 2001 at the cost of N2,219,746,244.75, adding that the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority, which is the supervising agency, issued a revised estimated cost to complete the project in the year 2010 pegged at N5,555,416,689.78.

He further said; “If this project continues 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,” Senator Musa said.

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