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Senate begins probe of N5.5bn Kagara dam project

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Worried by the delay in the execution of Kagara Dam project in Niger State, the Nigerian Senate has directed its Committee on Water Resources to investigate the N5.5 billion project.

The Senate gave the directive during its plenary on Thursday. It also asked the Federal Government to consider the socio-economic importance of the project and ensure it was completed as soon as possible.

The project was earlier awarded at the sum of N199 million and later got an upward review to N5.5 billion after it was taken over by the Federal Government.

The federal lawmakers demanded a probe of the project following a motion sponsored by Senator Sani Musa (Niger East).

Musa in the motion had drawn attend on the urgent need for the completion of the dam which was started 27 years ago.

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He said that the dam was first conceived and awarded by the Niger State government to a Kano State based company, WRECA, in 1992.

According to the senator, the project was conceptualised to provide potable water and irrigation to Kagara and its environs.

He said that owing 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 added that after the project suffered abandonment due to lack of funding it was later renegotiated in the year 2001 at the cost of N2, 219,746,244.75.

He went further to say 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 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.

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