The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved N1.735 billion for the completion of Sabke dam in Mai’aduwa Local Government of Katsina State.
Briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Water Resources, Sulaiman Adamu, explained that the approval was in line with the resolve of the present administration to complete abandoned and ongoing projects.
According to the minister , his ministry would de-emphasize new projects in the next two to three years to create room for the completion of the abandoned ones.
He said this was measure was important in view of the fact that his administration inherited as many as 117 uncompleted projects from the past governments.
He said: “We presented two memos, one had to do with the completion of the Sabke water supply project at the cost of N1.735 billion.
“This is an abandoned project and it is in line with the current government’s commitment to complete ongoing and abandoned projects as much as possible that the continuation and completion of this project was approved.
“When I assumed office on November 2015, I inherited 117 ongoing and abandoned projects. I inherited debt profile of N89 billion. These were claims by contractors awaiting to be paid and a total projection of another N250 billon to complete those 117 ongoing projects.
“Our task has been to concentrate more on completing some of these projects so we set out to do a technical audit early last year on these projects based on which we prioritized them – top, medium and low priority.
He further explained that Some projects that were thought not to be worthwhile were cancelled and this project approved happens to be one of the top priority project that is why the government is willing to spend little more money to get the value for which the project was intended.
He added that: “We are going to continue like that and we hope to complete at least 25 per cent of that 117 ongoing projects in the 2017 budget.”
“We were able to complete one last year which was the Central Ogbia Water project, the next one will be the Northern Ishan in Edo State. These projects cut across water supplies, dams, hydro power and irrigation. There are all being accorded their own priority.
“In the next two years we are de-emphasising on new projects so that we can continue and complete the ongoing projects as many as possible. That way we can get value for money because most of these projects have direct impact on the citizenry and so there is no reason why there should be abandoned.”