Nigerian govt halts new projects in Water Resources Ministry

Nigerian govt halts new projects in Water Resources Ministry
January 12 13:19 2017

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) said it would no longer approve any new projects for the Federal Ministry of Water Resources until 117 abandoned projects‎ in the ministry are completed.

Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Sulaiman Adamu, who disclosed this at the end of the FEC meeting in Abuja Wednesday, said the council has approved the completion of Sabke Water Supply Project in Katsina that was abandoned by the previous administration at the cost of N1.735 billion.

He said: “Our task has been to concentrate more on completing some of these projects. So we set out to do a technical audit early last year on these projects based on which we prioritized them – top, medium and low priority. Some projects that were thought not to be worthwhile were cancelled.

“This project approved today happens to be one of the top priority project that is why we are willing to spend a little more money to get the value for which the project was intended. We are going to continue like that and we hope to complete at least 25 per cent of that 117 ongoing projects in the 2017 budget. We were able  to complete one last year which was the Central Ogbia Water project, the next one will be the Northern Ishan in Edo State.

“These abandoned projects cut across water supplies, dams, hydro power and irrigation. They are all being accorded their own priority. That technical audit has helped us in prioritizing our capital projects in 2016 and it helped us to prepare the 2017 budget to enable us have a clear view of which project we want to do.

“In the next two years we are de-emphasising on new projects so that we can continue and complete the ongoing projects as many as possible, that way we can get value for money because most of these projects have direct impact on the citizenry and so there is no reason why they should be abandoned. This year we will continue to complete these projects notwithstanding that they were initiated by previous government. It doesn’t mean we will not embark on new projects but we will only do new projects that are very critical to the current infrastructural requirements.

“For instance, from 2018 in the ministry of water resources, we intend to embark on setting up additional irrigation and hydro projects. Those are the two priority areas for the next three four years. So while we are doing these projects, we will be preparing for new projects so that by the time those projects are completed we will now have an overlap so that as we are finishing some we are starting other ones.

“Every project is going to be under the framework of the National Water Resources Masterplan which was revived and updated from 2016 to 2030 in accordance with water resources roadmap approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in June last year.”

The minister said the council also approved outlined business case for the concession of the Gurara 30 megawatt Hydro Power Plant to fit into the industrial area of Kaduna city.