The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has handed over to the Edo State government, the completed Northern Esan Water Project in Ugboha, Esan South East Local Government Area of the state.
The project, estimated to have cost N3.85 billion, can generate two million gallons or nine million litres of water per day.
Minister of water resources, Suleiman Adamu, who led a Federal Government delegation that included minister for information and culture, Lai Mohammed, to the state, said the delegation was in the state to hand over completed projects to the Edo State government.
Suleiman said he participated in the conception of the project in 1997, when he worked as a consultant to the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), which was then led by current President, Muhammadu Buhari. He noted that lack of fund stalled the project, until it was revived by the present administration.
“We have finished our intervention programme and we are here today to hand over the project to the Edo State Government led by Governor Godwin Obaseki,” he said.
He expressed satisfaction and confidence in the quality of job done and hoped that the agencies in charge of the scheme would do a good job to ensure its sustainability.
Governor Obaseki expressed gratitude to the President Buhari-led administration for the uncommon gesture to the people of the state and Esan land, in particular.
He explained that access to potable water was a major challenge in Esan land and thanked the President for coming to the aid of the people, promising that his administration will do all it can to ensure the project benefits the people.
“I want to assure you that as a progressive government, we align with the water policies of the Federal Government. We have been following your policy guideline to strengthen water reforms in Edo State,” the governor said.
He disclosed that a bill to set up small town and rural water projects in the state has been passed by the Edo State House of Assembly (EDHA), noting that the state government has trained communities to set up their own water associations.
He added that his administration is restructuring its urban water board. “I want to assure you that this scheme will be sustained. This is part of our plan to ensure water in all parts of Esan land.”
The governor said his administration is working with the Niger Delta support programme, supported by the European Union (EU) to provide water, adding “We have paid 700 million naira as our counterpart fund and the EU is providing about two to three billion. We expect that all these investments will provide water in Esan land and other parts of the state.”