470m Greater Abuja Water project stalled over counterpart funding
Five years after conceptualisation of the $470million Greeter Abuja Water Project, the federal government is yet to release the 20% counterpart fund for execution and delivery of the project as planned.
Speaking to senators and journalists at Jahi site on the state of the project being handled by China Geo – engineering Company ( CGC ), Project Manager Zhong Xiang said while China Exim Bank had released $150m , the Federal Government of Nigeria was yet to release any portion of the 20% counterpart fund.
Xiang made the disclosure Monday during an oversight tour of the Senate Committee on FCT on various projects being executed across the various districts of the FCT.
He said what was earlier considered to be a legacy project, was seriously being threatened now as far as execution and delivery are concerned.
”This project is conceptualised to boost water supply across the various districts in the Federal Capital Territory. But what is delaying its full blown execution is the failure of the Federal Government of Nigeria to meet her own obligation.
“As handlers of the project, we appeal to the Hon Minister and Distinguished Senators to please help in facilitating the release of the 20% counterpart funding,” he said.
However, other districts visited by the Senate Committee showed serious project execution.
At the Institutional District alone, the sum of N34billion had been earmarked for construction of roads, bridges, railway corridors etc, many of which were ongoing and at various stages of completion.
FCT minister speaks
Speaking at one of the sites at Institutional District, FCT Minister Malam Musa Muhammad Bello said the district was named Institutional due to avalanche of institutions in the area.
According to him, some of the Institutions are National Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), ECOWAS Parliament, ECOWAS Commission, National Judicial Institute, First Ladies Peace Mission, Baze University, Nile University, Teaching Hospital etc.
“This Institutional District stretches across Ring road 3 and Airport Expressway with required supportive infrastructure “, he said.
Before the Institutional District, the minister led the committee to a 10km road with 400-metre span bridge being constructed at the Central Business District behind the US Embassy and Kukwaba District along the Airport Road.
He appealed to the lawmakers to pay urgent attention to the project, so that the administration could meet up with its 20 percent counterpart funding for the project.
Senate explains mission
in his remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Tolu Odebiyi said the purpose of the project tour was to determine FCT’s priority projects, so as to know where to appropriate funds to, during budget presentation.
Odebiyi noted that having seen the projects and their importance, he would galvanise the support of other lawmakers to ensure the water works and other projects were completed in time.
“We want to know what there priority projects are so that when they will present their budgets, we will know Which funds to be made available for which project.
“I must also commend the team of FCTA for the extent of the work which they are doing . We have seen a number of projects and we are highly impressed.
“The greater Abuja Water Works is also very impressive work and is being funded by China EXIM bank, a foreign currency bank. I think it is important that we look at that so that we can make plans for the counterpart funding,” he added.