The Nigerian government has commissioned the Zobe Regional Water Supply Scheme in Katsina State, 29 years after the contract was first awarded.
The spokesperson of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, in a statement on Friday, said the ceremony took place on Thursday in Dutsin-Ma in Katsina State.
President Muhammadu Buhari was represented at the event by the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu.
He said his administration will continue to place priority on infrastructure development, including those for Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) towards ensuring better living condition for Nigerians.
The president noted that access to adequate water supply, sanitation and hygiene was part of the indices for economic development of any nation.
Mr Buhari commended the positive transformation taking place in the water and sanitation sector which was aimed at meeting the national aspiration of providing potable water for all Nigerians.
In his own address, the minister said the execution of the scheme suffered serious setback ”for over 25 years”.
Mr Adamu said this was because the contract was first awarded in 1992 but got stalled at 45 per cent completion due to neglect and lack of budget support until the advent of the present administration.
He said the scheme drew water from the Zobe multipurpose dam that was commissioned in 1983 with a reservoir capacity of 177 billion litres of water.
“Adamu added that the scheme had been completed to the highest level of quality with a total capacity of 75 million litres of water per day.
He said it would serve an estimated population of over one million people resident in Katsina town and seven outlaying communities namely: Kankia, Kurfi, Kafin – Soli, Karofi, Radda, Charanchi and Bindawa – Danmusa.
“The quality of the treated water from the scheme has been subjected to laboratory testing and found to be acceptable within the national and international standards for drinking water,” Mr Adamu said.
The minister said the Federal Government’s intervention in water supply was meant to accelerate access to potable water.
He said that where such intervention on water facility had been completed, it was usually handed over to the state government, local government or community for operation and maintenance depending on the nature and size of the facility.
“It is therefore the turn of Zobe Regional Water Supply Scheme to be formally commissioned and handed over to Katsina State Government,” Mr Adamu said.
The Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, said the commissioning of the gigantic water supply project in a post COVID – 19 era was quite commendable.
Mr Masari added that it was a demonstration of the administration’s determination to address the issue of perennial water shortage in Katsina State and other parts of the country.
The Emir of Katsina, Abdulmumini Usman, thanked God for the eventual completion and commissioning of the scheme while praying that it would be source of joy to all water users.
In his speech while welcoming guests earlier, Mannir Yakubu, the Deputy Governor of the state, thanked the Federal Government for the completion and handing over of the project.
Mr Yakubu who is also the Chairman, Katsina State Committee on the take-over assured that the standard of the water supply scheme would be maintained at all times.
The press release also noted that on the same day, the Minister, MrvAdamu commissioned a Special Presidential Intervention water supply project in Gwaleda, Kunchi Local Government of Kano State.