Owena dam: FG partners French Development Bank

Approves $57m for water project in Ondo communities

AS part of efforts to resuscitate the Owena dam, in Ondo state, a sum $57 million has been approved by the Federal Government with assistance from the French Development Bank for the reticulation of water from dam to the six Local Governments in Ondo Central Senatorial district of the state.

This was disclosed by the Special Adviser to the State Government on Public Utility, Engr. Tunji Light Ariyomo, during a visit to access the Owena water dam in Ifedore Local Government Area of the state.

According to Ariyomo, the first tranche of the money has been released saying the sum of $5million has been received by the state government while work would commence soon on the project.

He listed six local government within the central senatorial district to include: Akure South, Akure North, Ifedore, Ondo East, Ondo West, and Idanre.

He recalled that the reticulation of the water from Owena Dam to some communities within the district was awarded by late Governor Olusegun Agagu in 2008 at the sum of N13billion saying the state government paid N5billion to the contractor.

Ariyomo who led community and top All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders including the Special Adviser on Transport, Mr. Tobi Ogunleye to the Dam said the Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has ordered for the commencement of the project nine years after it was abandoned.

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He, however, said all communities where the pipeline passes through would benefit from the water scheme to prevent vandalization of the facilities as being experienced Niger Delta area.

He said “This is the abandoned Owena multipurpose water dam, this project was completed decades ago and the Federal Government in its magnanimity ceded the water component to the government of the state.

“The Dr. Olusegun Agagu’s government lashed on to such opportunity by awarding a contract worth billions of Naira for the construction of transmission line from this place to part of Ondo Central Senatorial district as well as reticulation of water to homes.

“Unfortunately, a successor administration abandoned the project, frustrated the contract. After a long time running into nine years, that contract became ineffective by the effusion of time and by the virtue of our law, it is no longer tenable.

“When the new government of Akeredolu came on board, the government reengaged the Federal Government and Mr. President gave the go ahead with that project.

“The Ondo State government through the Ministry of Water Resources was able to secure the funding to the tune of $57 million. We have received the first tranche of the fund from the French Development Agency. $5million is sitting in the purse of Ondo State government. We now have a cash backed project that will see the light of the day.

“We have entered an agreement with the French people that this money will be used judiciously using international standard and under transparent procedures”

Ariyomo however, stressed the need for the people of the area to support the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, to ensure the completion of the project which were abandoned because of the change in government.

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