By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Federal Government on Thursday commissioned and handed over a reinforced Concrete Drain and Land Reclamation Work at Anguwan Yarbawa Maje, Suleja and road improvement works and emergency surface protection work along Tudun Wada, Karshi road, Nasarawa State.
The projects were executed by the Ecological Fund Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The Tudun Wada project executed by Masarki Nigeria Limited and Fassad Engineering Nigeria Limited as Consultants was commissioned by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
He said the contract for the Phases 1 and 2 was awarded by the Federal Executive Council on the 13th March, 2019 and 16th October, 2019 respectively.
The SGF said the project will address the devastating effects of flooding along the banks of the river.
“It will check the very serious erosion of the embankments of the Sabon Karshi bridge, restore vehicular and pedestrian movement across the river as well as reduce dangers to lives and properties in Tudun Wada, Sabon Karshi and it’s environs. It also offers alternative route from FCT Abuja to Nasarawa State.
“The restoration of pedestrian and vehicular movements will no doubt boost economic activities within the Tudun Wada, Sabon Karshi axis,” the SGF added.
He emphasized that the project is proof that the present administration is keeping faith with the promise that no part of the country will suffer any neglect owing to it’s geographical location or political consideration.
He urged the benefitting community to take ownership of the project in order to ensure its care, maintenance and sustainability.
In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ecological Fund Office, Dr. Habiba Lawal, said the project was initiated through a request forwarded to the office by the Emir of Sabon Karshi, Alh. (Dr) Sani Mohammed Bako III.
The Nasarawa State Governor, Alh. Abdullahi Sule who was present at the the event commended federal government for the government.
The Emir commended the Federal Government for responding to their request and pleaded for more government presence in the community.
The representative of the contractors, Engr. Ahmed Makanju in an interview appealed to the Government to consider indigenous firms in the execution of bigger projects.
Earlier, at the Suleja site, the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, called on Federal Government and FCT administration to assist the state for more development to enhance economy activities.
Bello, who was represented by his Deputy, Ahmed Keto, said the state was vulnerable to impact of climate change, adding that the community has rural population that directly depends on climate sensitive economic and development activities in agriculture and natural resources for their subsistence and livelihood.
According to him, while our state appreciates various Federal Government agencies for their support towards mitigating the perennial flooding and other Environmental challenges.
“Please permit me to add that since about 80 per cent of what now constitutes the Federal Capital Territory came from the state.
“Even the name Abuja has its origins from Suleja, we need more of federal presence in the state than we are currently getting.
“Niger state is yet to benefit adequately from its proximity to Abuja apart from over stretched public facilitie, increase crime and other social vices.
“We therefore, want to use this opportunity to call on the federal government and FCT administration to assist in the development and welfare of Suleja.
“This project to be commissioned today is an opportunity medication that our demands are getting some form of response.
He said that the reason for the strategy was to enforce a sustainable a functional framework for a disaster reduction template that would elaborate the state of preparedness, response and assistance to disaster victims.
In her welcome address, Dr. Lawal said that the project was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention, forwarded to EFO by Minister of Solid Mineral, Abubakar Bwari.
Lawal said that the effort was to arrest the continues erosion, flood and other ecological challenges to avoid further Environmental degradation, loss of lives and properties.
She said that the project was one of the third quarter, 2018 Federal Government’s ecological intervention projects whose contract was awarded by the EFOs tenders board on Feb. 26, 2019.
The Permanent Secretary said that the timely completion of the project was made possible through the effort of the project contractor and consultant.
She added that the contractors and the consultant worked tirelessly to ensure minimum loss of time on the project implementation schedule with close monitoring and prompt honouring of all contractual obligations by the EFO.
Dr. Lawal said that the commissioning and handover of the project to the community was expected to achieve the dual purpose of enabling the community take over and exercise ownership over the project.
She, however, advised the community to embrace the project, exercise ownership and ensure its maintenance and sustainability.
According to her, the resources which the government had committed to this project, must not be allowed to be wasted.
She was represented by Mr Udochukwu Nwachukwu, Deputy Director, Flooding and Erosion Department, EFO.