Senate probes 27-year-old uncompleted dam project

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The Senate, on Thursday, mandated its Committee on Water Resources to investigate the delay in the execution of Kagara Dam and the one-million-gallon-water-treatment plant in Niger State.

The upper legislative chamber urged the Federal Government to consider the socio-economic importance of the project to the people of the area, the extent of the work done so far, and see to its completion without further delay.

The resolutions followed a motion sponsored by Senator Mohammed Musa (Niger East) and 19 other lawmakers during plenary.

Leading the debate on the motion, Musa noted that the Kagara Dam project was awarded by the Niger State Government to a Kano-based company, WRECA, in 1992 for the purpose of providing the potable water and irrigation needs of the people of Kagara and its neighbours.

He said the Federal Government took over the project and awarded it to Biwater Shellaber (Nig) Limited in December 1992 at the cost of N199, 222, 596. 00

He lamented that “the contract suffered so many neglect and abandonments because of the lack of substantial fund, which necessitated its renegotiation in the year 2001 at the cost of N2, 219, 746, 244.75.”

The lawmaker noted that if urgent action was not taken, the purpose of taking over the project by the Federal Government in December 1992 and subsequent budgetary allocations be a waste.

Supporting the motion, the Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Abdullahi (Niger North), stressed the need to complete the project very soon to achieve the objective behind it.

The President of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, directed the Committee on Water Resources to carry out thorough investigation on the dam project with a view to ensuring its completion without further delay.

Meanwhile, the Senate has considered the Bill for an Act to Establish the Federal Polytechnic, Orogun.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, who sponsored the bill, said on Thursday the institution was conceived with the intent of becoming the bastion of technical academic excellence.

The bill, which scaled through the second reading, was thereafter referred to the Senate Committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND for further legislative work.

Also on Thursday, the Senate directed its committees on Navy, Marine Transport and Finance to investigate the activities of Messrs OMSL Limited and other security agencies at the Safe Anchorage Area in the Lagos Ports.

The panels are to determine the legality of the firms’ operations and revenue implications.

The resolution followed the consideration of a motion titled, ‘Illegal security activity by Messrs OMSL Limited at the Safe Anchorage Area of Lagos Ports and the need to investigate their excesses.’

The sponsor of the motion, Senator George Sekibo, said that “a security company registered in the name of OMSL Limited has, since 2014, carried out security duties at the Lagos Ports Safe Anchorage Area on fees from vessels without regard to the Nigerian Ports Authority.

The lawmaker alleged that the “OMSL Limited charged every ship that anchored within the Safe Area $2,500 on the first day of anchorage and $1,500 on every subsequent day for the period any ship stayed at the anchorage area.”

The lawmaker noted that by virtue of the Ports Act (1954), the Anchorage Area was an integral part of the NPA statutory responsibility while NIMASA, Marine Police and Nigerian Navy had the sole responsibility to ensure safe and secure Nigeria territorial waters.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, said it was a serious matter the committees must treat with urgency.

He said the report must be laid before the Senate within four weeks.

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