Senate probes delay in execution of N7.7bn Kagara Dam
The Senate has mandated its Committee on Water Resources to investigate the delay in the execution of the Kagara Dam in Niger State.
It noted that the probe was important as the project was delayed 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 formed the resolutions reached by the lawmakers following the consideration of a motion during Thursday’s plenary in the Senate chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Senator Sani Musa (Niger East) who sponsored the motion informed his colleagues that the Kagara Dam was first conceived and awarded by the Niger State government to a Kano State-based company, WRECA, in 1992.
According to him, the project is conceptualised to provide potable water and irrigation to Kagara and its environs.
The lawmaker added 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.
He decried that the project suffered neglect because of the lack of funding which necessitated its renegotiation in the year 2001, at the cost of N2,219,746,244.75.
Senator Musa further disclosed that the Upper Niger River Basin Development Authority, which was the supervising agency, issued a revised estimated cost to complete the project in the year 2010 pegged at N5,555,416,689.78.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Senate considered a bill for an Act to Establish the Federal Polytechnic, Orogun in Delta State.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, who sponsored the bill explained that the institution was conceived with the intent of becoming the bastion of technical academic excellence.
He noted that the proposed polytechnic would create more admission opportunities for Nigerian youths.
According to Senator Omo-Agege, the establishment of the school “will help numerous admission seekers who desire the good life in arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, engineering and technology to achieve their ambitions.”
He disclosed that a landmass in excess of 100 hectares has been donated in the community of Orogun clan in Delta for the immediate development of academic infrastructure.
The lawmaker described Orogun community, home to at least 38 active onshore oil wells, as a major contributor to Nigeria’s economic strength.
“By establishing the Federal Polytechnic Orogun, this Senate would be creating an institution that would develop and deliver cutting edge education and training programmes for our professionals.
“The Institution will engage strategic research and development activities for broad national development, and take leadership roles in promoting the economic development of the immediate community and the society at large,” Omo-Agege said.
The bill, which scaled second reading, was referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative work.
The Proceeds of Crime Bill, Federal Polytechnic Aba (Est, etc) Bill, Federal Character Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, Nigerian Latin Village Ibadan (Est, etc) Bill, and seven others were read for the first time.
They include the National Biotechnology Development Agency (Est, etc) Bill, Nigerian Tea and Coffee Development Council (Est, etc) Bill, Older Persons (Rights and Privileges) Bill, and Corporate Social Responsibility Bill.
Others are Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, Payment System Bill, and Power and Petroleum Safety Institute, Oraifite (Est, etc) Bill.