February 14, 2019

Abandoned 11 years ago: FG, French Devt. Bank approve $57m water project in Ondo

By Dayo Johnson

AKURE— A sum of $57 million has been approved by the Federal Government with assistance from the French Development Bank for the reticulation of water from Owena Dam to six council areas in Ondo Central Senatorial district of Ondo State.

This is coming 11 years after the project was awarded by the administration of the late Dr Olusegun Agagu in 2008 for N13 billion and paid N5 billion to the contractor.

The six council areas to benefit from the reticulation include Akure South, Akure North, Ifedore, Ondo East, Ondo West, and Idanre.

The Special Adviser to the Ondo State Governor on Public Utility, Engr. Tunji Light Ariyomo, who disclosed this during the visit to Owena Water Dam said the French Development Bank has released the first tranche of $5 million to the state government for the commencement of the project.

Leading community leaders and All Progressives Congress, APC leaders including the Special Adviser on Transport, Mr. Tobi Ogunleye to the dam, Ariyomo said Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has ordered for the commencement of the project.

“All communities where the pipeline passes through would benefit from the water scheme to prevent vandalisation of the facilities as being experienced in the Niger-Delta area.

“This is the abandoned Owena Multipurpose Water Dam. This project was completed decades ago and the Federal Government in its magnanimity ceded the water component to the government of the state.

“The Dr. Olusegun Agagu government awarded a contract worth billions of Naira for the construction of transmission line from this place to part of Ondo Central Senatorial district as well as reticulation of water to homes.

“Unfortunately, a successor administration abandoned the project, frustrated the contract. After a long time running into nine years, that contract became ineffective by the passage of time and by the virtue of our law, it is no longer tenable.

“When the new government of Rotimi Akeredolu came on board, the government reengaged the Federal Government and Mr. President gave the go ahead with that project.

“The Ondo State Government through the Ministry of Water Resources, was able to secure the funding to the tune of $57 million. We have received the first tranche of the fund from the French Development Bank; $5million is sitting in the purse of Ondo State Government. We now have a cash-backed project that will see the light of the day.

“We have entered agreement with the French people that this money will be used judiciously using international standard and under transparent procedures.”