By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pledged that his administration will continue to implement policies and execute people-oriented projects that will change the narrative for Nigerians.
President Buhari stated this in Zaria, Kaduna State at the commissioning of the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project.
He said the Federal Government, in spite of lean resources, spent N11.8 billion on the construction of the multipurpose 186.1 Million Cubic Meters Galma Dam as a contribution to the project.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina quoted the President as saying, ”This project is the culmination of the joint efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Kaduna State Government, Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
”The multilateral nature of the funding for this project underscores the great importance the Kaduna State Government and the Federal Government attach to this project, which is designed to provide adequate water to the growing city of Zaria and its environs. ”
Commending the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru El Rufai for completing the water project which had hitherto languished for years, the President said: ‘‘I am aware that the government undertook to offset all outstanding payments to the contractor in 2015 which led to the resumption of construction activities at the 150 Million Litres-per- day water treatment plant.’’
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Buhari also praised the Kaduna State government for demonstrating an appreciable commitment to development through people-oriented projects.
”To our multilateral partners, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank, we are grateful for your part in providing the needed funding to undertake and complete the transmission mains, service reservoirs, booster stations and distribution network.
”We could not have done it without your contributions. We are hopeful that this partnership will continue as we seek to reach out to other communities, cities and states in Nigeria to provide water facilities and other essential services,” he said.
Buhari challenged the Kaduna State Water Corporation, responsible for operating and maintaining the system, to live up to expectation, urging beneficiaries to be responsible citizens by ensuring vigilance over the facilities and payment for water consumed.
Buhari noted that water infrastructure investments such as this one would serve for decades if they are well managed and well maintained.
”The project is partly funded by loans that will be repaid by coming generations. We should ensure that they are appreciative even as they continue to pay back the loans,” he said.
President Buhari, who congratulated ”the good people of Zaria for being the beneficiaries of such a timely and life-changing water project”, commended the contractors and consultants for the quality and timely delivery.