Alex Enumah in Abuja
As part of measures to achieve the nation’s set target in the water sector, the federal government has commenced the technical auditing of all ongoing projects in the water sector, with a view to assessing their viability, prioritising as well as determining the most appropriate options for their completion.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr. Suleiman Adamu, disclosed this at the public presentation of the Water Sector Road Map in Abuja, tagged: ‘Immediate and Long Term Strategies for Water Sector (2016 – 2030).’
Adamu who disclosed further that the road map was approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in June this year, stated that the ministry was committed to aligning all future projects in accordance with the master plan for sustainability.
The minister said the auditing of the ongoing projects was a proof that of the ministry must deliver on its mandate, lamenting that some of the ongoing projects have been abandoned for up to 15 years. According to Adamu, “A total of 116 projects are ongoing with a total contract cost of N505, 571,966,351.10. Most of the projects are at 40 – 60 per cent level of completion while some projects have been stalled for up to 15years.”
Adamu wondered why nobody could even raise a query as to why those projects were abandoned for that long.
He stated that the ministry would not embark on new projects but rather focused on prioritising and completing the ongoing projects.
Out of the 116 projects, irrigation and drainages consist of 38, dams – 37, while water supply has 41.
He stated that the projects had been prioritised based on some established criteria such as the stage of completion, time of completion, cost of completion and envisaged impact of the projects on citizens as well as the economy amongst others.
When effectively implemented the road map is expected to be a catalyst in employment generation, increase in electricity generation as well as food supplies.
“In recognition of our nation’s agricultural potential to not only boost our ability to feed ourselves, but also provide the largest opportunity to create jobs for our teeming young population, we have, in the last six months taken concrete steps to resuscitate the River Basin Development Authorities,” the minister said.