By Lawrence Olaoye
Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Kazaure, has disclosed that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the proposal to take over the Azare-Girei irrigation project which was initiated to supply water primarily from Gurara dam to Lower Usman Dam by a distance of 75 kilometers with a three nester diameter pipeline.
He told newsmen after the FEC meeting yesterday that; “This project was completed in 2008 but since then no effort was made to discharge the contractual obligation after the obligatory maintenance period. Or an effort take over the project either by the ministry or FCT Administration.
“We believe after constructionist doesn’t make sense for the project to remain in the hands of the contractor for another close to 10 years now without our taking possession and being responsible for the operation and maintenance of the pipeline.
“So we presented a memo, we negotiated with the contractor to exit with the next 12 months so that the ministry and the FCT can take over the responsibility for managing, operation and maintenance of the pipeline.
“In the memo we proposed that after negotiations the contractor will be paid a total sum of N606.31 million for the eight or nine years it has been maintaining and operating the pipeline and for another company that has to do with the training of our own personnel to take over the responsibility for the pipeline.”
Minister for trade and investments, Okechukwu Enalamah, equally told newsmen that he provided an update to Council on the activities of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) on the work that had been done in the last four months of June,July August, September and October.