Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, yesterday appealed to the Government of France to commence work, without further delay, on the Greater Kano Water supply project in view of its strategic importance to the development of the state.
France, through its overseas development agency, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), pledged earlier this year, to extend a credit facility of $75 million towards improving water supply in Kano metropolis, while improving the financial viability of the state water board.
At a meeting at the AFD headquarters in Abuja, Governor Ganduje described the implementation of the project as rather slow, going by the fact that it had a completion period of six years from the date of signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the French government.
He said the implementation should commence in earnest because the necessary feasibility studies had been completed.
According to him, “Kano may end up paying for the delay in the project’s implementation. This is evident going by Section 6 and sub-section 6.1 of the draft facility agreement, which requires the state government to pay the French government 0.25 per cent commitment fee annually, beginning from the date of signing the agreement.
“The Federal Government has also committed money to this project, part of which was used to procure vehicles and pre-paid meters,” the governor added.
“Kano is a mega city and its water facilities were first installed around 1920. We have been managing them year after year, even as several new settlements have developed, which means that we are now confronted with increasing demand for water,” governor Ganduje pointed out.
“While we will want to see increased momentum on the project, I want to say that another major issue regarding the work is approval of project consultant. We want to see that the procurement process for the project commences before the end of the year,” he added.
In his remarks, Country Director, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), Mr. Pascal Grangereau, attributed the delay in the commencement of the work to non-fulfillment of certain conditions, noting that as soon as they were met, funds would be released for the work to start.
“A project consultant is likely before the end of the year. We also hope to work with the Kano State government in solid waste management and sanitation,” he assured.
The meeting was attended by officials of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources, representatives of the French Embassy in Abuja as well as senior government officials from Kano State.