By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje has appealed to the government of France to commence work without further delay on the Greater Kano Water supply project, in view of its strategic importance to the development of the state.
According to a statement signed by the Director General, Media and Publicity,
Government House, Kano, Ameen K. Yassar, France, through its overseas development agency, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), pledged earlier this year, to extend a credit facility of $75 million towards improving water supply in Kano metropolis, while improving the financial viability of the state water board.
During a meeting at the headquarters of Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), in Abuja, Gov. Ganduje described the project implementation as rather slow, going by the fact that it has a completion period of six years from the date of signing the Memorandum of Understanding with the French government, stressing that it should commence in earnest because the necessary feasibility studies have been completed.
According to him, “Kano may end up paying for the delay in the project implementation. This is evident going by section 6 and sub-section 6.1 of the draft facility agreement which requires the state government to pay the French government 0.25 percent commitment fee annually, begging from the date of signing the agreement”.
“The Federal government has also committed money to this project part of which was used to procure vehicles and pre-paid meters”, the governor added.
“Kano is a mega city and its water facilities were first installed around 1920. We have been managing them year after year, even as several new settlements have developed which means we are now confronted with increasing demand for water”, governor Ganduje pointed out.
“While we will want to see increased momentum on the project, I want to say that another major issue regarding the work is approval of project consultant. We want to see that the procurement process for the project commences before the end of the year”, he added.
In his remarks, the Country Director, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), Mr. Pascal Grangereau attributed the delay in the commencement of the work to non fulfillment of certain conditions, noting that as soon as they were met, funds would be released for the work to start.
“A project consultant is likely before the end of the year. We also hope to work with the Kano state government in solid waste management and sanitation”, he assured.
The meeting was attended by officials of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, representatives of the French embassy in Abuja as well as senior government officials from Kano State.