Kaduna government seeks refund of 24.4bn spent on Zaria water works

Asma'u Halilu, Kaduna

Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State seeks the refund of 24.4 billion naira from Federal Government as part of money expended on Zaria Water Supply and Expansion Project which cost the sum of N81.3 billion.
El-Rufai, who made the request in a statement, signed by his Senior Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr. Muyiwa Adekeye in Kaduna said, the amount represents 30 per cent of the N81.3 billion.
He disclosed that the amount was expended on the project by the Kaduna State Government, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
According to him, Kaduna state government funded the Water Treatment Plant at the cost of N24.6 billion and the Consultancy Services for Water Treatment Plant at N914.1 million.
“AfDB funded the rehabilitation and construction of water and sanitation facilities at the cost of 101 million dollars, which translates to N30.9 billion at the exchange rate N306.50 to a dollar. While IsDB funded the construction of water facilities at the cost of 81 million amounting to N24.8 billion.”
“The amount injected by AfDB and IsDB was a loan that will be repaid by the State government,” he stressed.
He explained that every State was entitled to 30 per cent of capital expenses on water project as refund from the Federal Government coffers.
He commended the Federal Ministry of Finance for earlier approving a refund of N17.3 billion for the project, adding that the actual sum was N24.4 billion based on the current exchange rate of naira to a dollar.
He appealed to FG for timely release of the fund, promising that the amount would be ploughed back into the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project.
“While we await receipt of this N17.3 billion refund, I wish to appeal to the President to approve a refund of the additional N24.4 billion to Kaduna State government”.
“You will recall that Phase I of the project, a 150 million water per day Treatment Plant, was commissioned in 2017 by Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, the then National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The Phase II of the project inaugurated by President Buhari on Friday comprised Transmission Mains, Service Reservoirs, Booster Stations and Distribution System. I therefore commend the Federal Government for the huge support for the project.”
The Governor said government had made a savings of 30 million dollars in implementing the project, which he said would be used to extend the transmission and distribution pipeline to Soba Local Council government Area.
He described the Federal government as an ‘indispensable partner’ for large water projects, pointing out that, if it had not constructed Galma Dam at N,11.8 billion, there would be no Zaria Water Project.
He further urged the Federal Government to construct the Itisi Dam to enable Kaduna state government to easily execute the Greater Kaduna Water Project.
Governor El-Rufai said the Kaduna Water Supply Project which was designed to expand water supply in the State capital would cost 600 million dollars.
“I congratulate the contractors and consultants that have helped complete Phases I and II of the Zaria Water Supply and Expansion Project. I particularly thank former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who initiated this project and negotiated its financing when he was Governor of Kaduna State,” he emphasised.
The Governor described the commissioning of Phase II of the Zaria Water Project as another milestone in reversing the shortage of water in Zaria.
According to him, the milestone will end residents’ pains of about three decades of water scarcity in the city.
“I am particularly grateful to the Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris, for his role in ensuring the success of the project and appealed to the people of Zaria and environs to safeguard the infrastructure.”