Senate probes N7.7bn Kagara dam project

The Senate Thursday mandated its Committee on Water Resources to investigate the delay in the execution of Kagara dam in Niger state despite 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.

The resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored to that effect by  Senator Sani Musa (APC, Niger East).

Musa in the motion disclosed that the Kagara dam was first conceived and awarded by the Niger state government to a Kano-based company, WRECA, in 1992.

The project, according to him,  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.

He further disclosed 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.

“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,” Musa said.

The Senate  also considered a Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal Polytechnic, Orogun.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who sponsored the bill, said 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 youth.

According to Omo-Agege, the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic “will help numerous admission seekers who desire the good life in the 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 senatorial district for the immediate development of academic infrastructure.

He noted that Orogun community which is home to at least 38 active onshore oil wells is 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 thereafter referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFund for further legislative work.

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