New impetus as Adamu winds down with handing over of projects to communities for ownership, sustainability 

New impetus as Adamu winds down with handing over of projects to communities for ownership, sustainability 
Hon. Minister, Engr. Adamu, commissioning the Ezealakpaka Water Supply Scheme, Ehime, Mbano LGA, Imo State. To his immediate left is the State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma and Commissioner, Imo State Water Resources Ministry, Lady Ann Dozie (Minister's immediate right) and other Senior Government Officials.

By Solomon Onyilo

Love him or hate him, Engr.Suleiman Adamu will go down in history as a man of action who placed top priority on community-based projects.

As he  prepares to exit the office as Minister of Water Resources, the last set of his activities further depicts him as a man of deeds, not words. Evidently, in the past years, he was pre-occupied with project execution to ensure timely and quality delivery and commissioning. 

Observers of the water resources ministry would undoubtedly agree that Adamu, unlike the typical Nigerian politician, has deliberately refrained from wasting energy on projects commissioning for the sake of earning false ratings or attracting undue publicity.

However, since the presentation of the Ministry's scorecard to President Muhammadu Buhari on December 5, 2022, which marked the commencement of the gradual winding-down of the Buhari administration, Adamu has created a new impetus in executing his mandates by handing over executed public projects to communities for ownership and sustainability.

In his presentation on that day, the Minister listed 13 projects in his ministry which were completed and ready for commissioning in 2022 -2023. Since then,  the water sector has been agog with ceremonies for the commissioning, hand-over, or flag-off of life-changing community water projects in different states and communities across the country.

The first port of call was Kwara state where a newly completed 5-million litres per day Pategi Water Supply Scheme was commissioned on December 7, 2022.
Speaking during the occasion, the Minister said the water scheme was executed in two phases. The first phase was awarded to Messrs Gilmor Engineering Ltd and Messrs Yema Group Ltd as the Supervising Consultant in December 2014 of which a 45 percent completion was achieved by 2019. 

 The second phase was awarded to Messrs CGC Ltd and Messrs Qiblat Associates as the Supervising Consultant in July 2019 with a completion period of 24 months. The project was fully completed and delivered in June 2022. "I am happy to inform this august gathering that the phase II contract has been satisfactorily executed, which marks the completion of the entire project," he enthused.

The Minister said that the Water Scheme which would serve over 200,000 residents in Patigi town and neighboring communities was executed at a cost of N4, 233, 744, 802.72. 
He assured that the quality of the treated water from the scheme had been subjected to laboratory tests and established to be within national and international standards of drinking water, thereby dismissing the fear of any water-borne diseases.
"The Federal Government's intervention is meant to accelerate access to potable water in the country towards meeting national and internationally set targets," he said.

The highlight of the occasion was the official signing of the Pategi Water Scheme documents and handing over of same to the Kwara State Government. 
The Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, represented by the Kwara State Commissioner for Water Resources, Dr. Abdulmaliq Bashir Mopelola Risikatullahi, thanked the Federal Government and the Minister of Water Resources for the laudable project. He said: "This is another timely intervention from the Federal Government. There is no doubt that the project would relieve the residents of Pategi of the burden of usual perennial water shortage, reduce the incidence of water-borne diseases and improve the living standards of the people of the area and its immediate suburb."

It was Kaduna state's turn three weeks later on December 30, when a similar scheme was commissioned at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The 5-million  litres per day water supply scheme was designed to serve over 200,000 residents of Samaru and Kongo Campuses of ABU, Zaria,  and the environs
The Minister said at the occasion that the commissioning of the project was in continuation of its commitment and determination to commission all completed projects, 

Like the Pategi Water Supply Scheme, the ABU project was executed in two phases. The first phase was awarded to Messrs Cartlark Nigeria Ltd in February 2006, with about 70 percent completion in 2017.
The Minister explained that in order to achieve maximum value, the Ministry awarded phase II of the project to Messrs Bran & Luebbee Water Engineers Nigeria Ltd in March 2020 with a completion period of 24 months.

He affirmed that phase II was satisfactorily executed, marking the completion of the entire project. The project which was designed to serve over 200,000 residents of Samaru and Kongo Campuses and environs was executed at a total cost of N996, 673, 985.56.

The Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof Kabiru Bala, thanked the Federal Government and the Minister for rehabilitating and expanding the University's Water Supply Scheme, which, according to him, would go a long way towards solving the water supply issues. 

 The high point of the occasion was the cutting of the tape by the Minister signaling the commissioning of the project and signing of the project's necessary documents as well as the handing over of the keys to the management of the University by the Director, Water Supply, of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Engr. Danjuma Madaki.

From Zaria, Engr. Adamu's projects train moved to Gombe state on January 6, where he, along with the State Governor, Alhaji Innuwa Yahaya, performed the flag-off ceremony for the rehabilitation, expansion, and upgrading of the already existing Gombe Regional Water Supply Scheme for the provision of portable water supply at Tunfure in Gombe metropolis.

The project is being executed under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which was signed between the Federal Government and the Gombe State Government on 12th August 2021,  in accordance with the provision of the National Water Supply Scheme and Sanitation Policy.

According to him, the MoU was signed in line with the cost sharing arrangement for Urban Water Supply Capital Investment partnership agreement under which the Federal Government would provides 30 percent while Gombe State Government provides the remaining 70 percent of the financial cost of the project.

The total cost of the project, based on the MoU, is broken down into: FG -  N3, 447,362, 801.98 (30 percent);  Gombe State Government - N8,043,846,537.97 (70 percent) and additional N419,163, 985.79 for Consultancy Services.
The Minister noted that his Ministry had executed several similar partnership agreements with various State Governments  for the implementation of major Urban Water Supply Projects which have been successful under the policy.

Governor Innuwa Yahaya noted that the historic flag-off of the rehabilitation, expansion and upgrading of the existing Regional Water Supply Scheme marked the commencement of the project and  fully committed to completing it and delivering same on schedule to the people of Gombe State.

Another Water sector project in the series to be commissioned was the Hadejia Valley Irrigation Scheme (HVIS). On Tuesday, January 31, President Muhammadu Buhari personally commissioned the N17 billion project covering a net area of  5,780 hectares at Auyo in Auyo Local Government Area of Jigawa State.
The scheme was executed under the Transforming Irrigation Management in Nigeria (TRIMING) Project, by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources with the support of the World Bank. 

The President said in his address at the occasion that his administration was giving priority to the rehabilitation, expansion and completion of irrigation projects across the country because of their enormous contributions to the economy of the country and of stakeholders in the benefitting communitires.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to making efforts to ensure that Irrigated Agriculture becomes more attractive to the country's teaming youths across the Federation.  "This is to provide opportunity for all-year-round farming and enormous employment generation to guarantee Nigeria’s food security. 

"We are, therefore, convinced that the key to our quest for economic diversification and survival lies in increased food production, including through dry season farming. A sound and sustainable irrigated agriculture will create more jobs and wealth. It will usher in sustainable economic prosperity because we will produce what we consume as a nation and generate foreign exchange by exporting any surplus.  Among the reasons we will continue to support this option, therefore, is that irrigated agriculture will provide all-year-round socio-economic and food production activities, thereby facilitating sustainable economic prosperity."

The Minister of Water Resources, Engr Suleiman Adamu, described the TRIMING Project as an innovative model approach adopted by the Federal Government, aimed at opening access to life changing opportunities for the farming communities that are involved with the Project. He said the Project was also serving as a vehicle to effectively harness the potentials of large water resources infrastructure, some of which were built well over 40 years ago but largely remained either unutilised, or grossly underutilised.  

"The ever-growing food security concerns worldwide, due to demographic pressure, combined with increased competition for water and climate variability has continued to mount pressure on policy makers and practitioners in the food production industry. These developments have more than ever brought forward the importance of irrigation to provide for the ever-increasing deficit in the supply of needed food and fiber, especially for a rapidly growing urban population in the emerging and least developed countries. To achieve this goal, existing irrigation and drainage systems need to be rehabilitated, modernized, upgraded, or complemented and in some instances, even re-designed."

The Minister identified the main beneficiaries of the full components of the TRIMING Project as basin stakeholders, irrigation and drainage entities, water user associations, farmers, and villagers in the Project areas.  "Through the direct infrastructure investments (covering about 37,000 ha) and concomitant activities in agriculture and on-farm water management focused in these areas, approximately 140,000 farm families with about 1 million people will directly benefit.  Moreover, the project is expected to strengthen five Water User Association Federations (WUAF), each comprising about 550 multiple secondary and tertiary level Water Users Associations (WUAs) servicing and representing the beneficiary farmers.  Also, some activities are targeted towards strengthening integrated water resources management across states and improving upstream and downstream dialogue."

Engr. Adamu said the commissioning of the HVIS by the President was a clear demonstration of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources' commitment towards the implementation of the President’s Agenda to transform Nigeria into a strong and virile economy by lending support to his efforts in effectively harnessing the nation’s abundant natural, human, and especially water resources.  

Other projects which have been completed and are awaiting commissioning include: Ezealakpaka Water Supply Project, Mbano, Imo State; Damaturu Water Supply Project LOT B and LOT C, both in Yobe State; Gashua Water Supply Project LOT A, Gashua, Yobe State; and Akanu Water Supply Project, Ohafia, Abia state.
Others are: Uburu Water Supply Project, Ohaozala, Ebonyi state; Nasarawa Water Supply Project, Nasarawa State; Kashimbilla Multi-purpose Dam, Taraba State; Gari Irrigation Project, Kano and Jigawa states; Dadin Kowa Hydropower Station, Gombe State; and Amla-Otukpo Water Dam, Benue State.

In addition to the above, "there are hundreds of projects completed by the River Basin Development Authorities (RBDAs) that are ready for commissioning," the minister had disclosed during the presentation of the water sector scorecard. 

With the benefit of the current rate of projects commissioning, and facility handover to communities for ownership, only the expiration of the President's and the Minister's tenure of office, May 29, 2023 - can put a stop to community-government relation initiative added to governance .