Ilorin – The Federal government has approved N6 billion for the Asa Dam reconstruction project in Ilorin.
Sen. Bukola Saraki, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Environment, made this known on Sunday, while speaking with newsmen in Ilorin.
He stressed that the project would check the perennial flooding of Asa Dam which had affected several parts of Ilorin and its environs.
Saraki, however, said that the project would be executed in three phases, adding that about N1 billion had been released as mobilisation fees to the contractors for the commencement of the project.
He said that the project would provide a lasting solution to the age-long menace of the dam’s flooding during rainy seasons.
Saraki, who represents Kwara Central Senatorial District in the Senate, bemoaned the loss of lives and property caused by floods and erosions in Ilorin in the past.
He pledged that his committee would ensure the prompt completion of the project.
However, Saraki called for adequate funding of environmental projects across the country, saying that the government ought to desist from treating ecological problems as emergencies and contingencies.
He stressed the need for the government to take ecological issues more seriously, adding that climate change issues were now attracting global attention because they could cause serious ecological disasters.
“Ecological Fund is largely used as intervention funds but some of the ecological issues such as flooding and erosion should no longer be handled as mere intervention programmes.
“So, we need to go back to the drawing board and see how we can get adequate funding for these environmental issues that need to be addressed on regular basis.
“By and large, we are working with the executive to see how to go about that. However, it is somewhat difficult because the budgetary allocation for environment in 2012 is less than what it got in 2011,’’ Saraki said. (NAN)