FG, Niger Govt. Sign MoU on Zungeru-Wushishi Water Project

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The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Niger State Government for the completion of the Zungeru Wushishi Water supply project.
The project is to provide water for communities in Wushishi and Zungeru axis, which hitherto had been abandoned for 21 years.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, at the signing ceremony, noted that the ministry was strategising to implement programmes and projects that would enable the country meet its Sustainable Development Goals on water through collaborative partnership with the states.
He noted that although provision of potable water supply was the sole responsibility of state governments, the MoU would complement efforts of Niger government.
According to him, the ministry carries out a technical audit of the project in 2016, and saw the need to redesign it to meet current realities and future water demand for beneficiary communities.
“The project execution cannot start due to lack of funds, consequently, the Niger government made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government for intervention, and the latter took over the funding of the project in 1999.
” After takeover by the ministry, the project attained a completion status of about 30 per cent before construction activities got stalled in 2005, due to inadequate budgetary allocations to the project.
“Therefore, this MoU, is in accordance with the spirit of President Buhari’s Administration of providing critical infrastructure for the good of Nigerians,” he said.
Adamu expressed hope that the state government would fulfill its obligations towards speedy completion of the project for the overall benefit of all.
He noted that the Federal Government had committed 7 million dollars, which would be injected through budgetary allocations and other sources, saying this had shown enough commitment to revitalise the project.
Niger State Governor, Alhaji Sani Bello, commended the Federal Government on its efforts at revitalising the state’s poor water supply situation, noting that the sad tales from the communities needed to change.
The governor added that in spite of lean resources, the project would not be stalled, given the direct impact it would have on the populace.
“I am happy in view of the fact that like I said earlier, this project has been on since 1998, and it is a very important project that will better the lives of two major communities in Niger, Zungeru and Wushishi.
” And I am glad that this project will continue any moment from now, through the partnership with the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and the state government, I believe people from Niger state will be excited, especially the local communities,”  he said.
Bello said the state government was looking forward to keeping the partnership going for speedy completion of the project, saying that the state was contributing 1.6 billion dollars.
Earlier, Mr Benson Ajisegiri, Director, Water Supply with the Ministry, said the recently inaugurated Water, Sanitation and Hygiene action plan, saw the need to renew partnerships with state governments towards changing the poor water indices.
He said for all projects of the federal government to be meaningfully completed meant renewed commitment and partnerships with the state.
He listed other partnerships to include the Zobe Water supply project in Katsina, Kano Water Scheme, and the Ogun Water Supply Scheme in Otta, stressing the need for execution of the MoU.
“The Zungeru Wushishi project started about 21 years ago, that’s 1998, for a project not to have been completed in 21 years means there was something wrong with the structural development.
“But that project is now been restructured in such a way that the Federal Government knows what to do and the state government knows what to do. so we need to work together to deliver the project to the people,” he said. (NAN)

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