Nigeria’s Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo inaugurated the long awaited 150 million liters per day multi-billion Naira Zaria water project in Kaduna State.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun, described El-Rufa’i as one of the most visionary governors the party had produced.
“I am glad on behalf of the party, it took an APC governor just two years to complete a project that has been in slumber for over 16 solid years. I want to specially thank our host, the governor of Kaduna State, this is one of the showcase examples of what an APC government is all about,” he said.
Present at the event was former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who initiated the project in 2008 while serving as governor of the state.
When fully completed, the Zaria water supply project would also be extended to Giwa, Kudan, Makarfi, Soba and Kubau local government areas.
To facilitate the project, the Federal Government constructed the Galma dam which has 186.1 million cubic metres of water to provide raw water to Zaria water treatment plant.
The state government also secured funding from the African Development Bank and the other financial institutions.
The first part of the project inaugurated by Osinbajo would supply water to Zaria and Sabongari Local Government Areas.
In his address, Kaduna state Governor Nasiru El-Rufa’I described the inauguration of the project as a fulfillment of one his major promises during electioneering campaign.
“This water treatment plant is an important component of the Zaria water supply expansion project that Kaduna State Government is executing with the support of Federal Government, AFDB, IDB,” he said
The governor explained that the state government funded the construction of the new water plant, transmission mains and service reservoirs, and also rehabilitated and extended the distribution network.
According to him, the project will improve public health and standard of living, enhance investment and commercial activities, as well as create jobs, improve livelihood and reduce poverty.
The ADB approved a credit facility of 101 million dollars in 2012 for the rehabilitation and extension of distribution network of the project.
In his speech, former Vice President Namadi Sambo said the event would bring an end to water scarcity in Zaria which had been on for over 40 years.
While commending El-rufa’i for a job well done, he urged the benefiting communities to make judicious use of the project and endeavour to protect it against any form of vandalism.
Earlier, the Emir of Zazzau, Dr Shehu Idris, thanked El-Rufa’i for making their dream a reality and assured him of support and cooperation of the entire people of the area.
He prayed that the governor would bring an end to water shortage not only in Zaria but also in Kaduna State as a whole.
The Zaria water works was first constructed in 1939 to provide 10 million litres of water daily to residents.