Speaking at the project site in Bauchi state, Sambo said the move would break the jinx of over three decades which successive administrations in the state had tried to surmount.
“In line with Mr. President transformation agenda, he has directed me to proceed with ensuring that this project is implemented for the benefit of the people of the North-eastern region of this country”, the Vice President told tumultuous villagers that received him at the proposed dam site.
Under the proposed design review, according to a source from the Bauchi Water Resources Ministry, the dam project would ensure the development of at least 125,000 hectares of irrigable land, out of which 80,000 hectares would be in Bauchi, 25,000 hectares in Yobe, 15,000 hectares, and 5,000 hectares in Borno states.
The proposed Kafin Zaki dam project coming under the Jama’are –Yobe basin, would when realized also generate 15 megawatts of hydro-electric power and 45 megawatts from bio-fuels, as well as the development of 100,000 tonnes of fisheries annually.
Sambo, flanked by his host, Governor Isa Yuguda, predecessor Ahmadu Adamu Mu’azu and the Emir of Ningi, Yunusa Mohammed Danyaya, said the federal government under the Jonathan transformation agenda is irrevocably committed to the realisation of the dam project.
The Vice President explained that the federal government is reviewing in totality the project design for other cascading dams along the Kafin Zaki dam project such as in Yobe and other states, to ensure that all segments of the society along the river benefit from the programme.
He said, “Each of the segments of people will have an intensive irrigation scheme and immediately the designs are completed and the project review is ready, we will invite a stakeholders meeting for the final Memorandum of Understanding to proceed with the development of the project to ensure that the people of Bauchi, Yobe and Borno, and other states benefitted from this project”.
Sambo, who expressed dismay that the project has been going on for decades, however assured listeners that the Kafin Zaki dam, when constructed, would immensely benefit people in the North-east geo-political zone of the country, stressing that the federal government was fully aware of the various issues obtained along the project line.
The Vice President described the provision of infrastructure for agricultural development as key for the implementation of the Jonathan transformation agenda, emphasising that the people of Bauchi, Yobe, Borno and other neighbouring states would immensely benefit from the dam project.
Alhaji Danyaya, on behalf of the State Council of Chiefs, commended the federal government for its renewed vigour to execute the dam project which, he noted, has been lingering for more than three decades.
He described the dam project as significant to the lives of the people in the sub-region, saying that Bauchi state, which ranks 6th and Ningi 20th in the country based on the 2006 head count, are in dire need for the realisation of the project.
He said apart from the hydro-electricity power the proposed dam project would provide when executed, it would also engage thousands of citizens into irrigation farming thereby raising their means of livelihood and significantly contributing to the economic growth and development of the sub-region and the country at large.
The Kafin Zaki dam, initially proposed by the Shagari administration in the defunct Second Republic which construction cost was then less than N100 million, was reviewed to N10 billion in 1994 and N60 billion in 2009 and may eventually rise much higher in 2014 when it will expectedly be appropriated in the national budget.
Other benefits derivable from the proposed dam project included the development of several agro-allied industries including sugar refinery, flour mills and vegetables, and direct employment to over one million adults on farm and related agro-allied industries. It would similarly sustain municipal and livestock water supply along the river and provide recreation and tourism potentials.
Caption: dg. FEMA, Alhaji Abbas Idriss
FEMA: Insurance Companies to Fund Disaster Management
The Director-General, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Alhaji Abbas Idriss, has asserted that the only way to reduce cost in disaster management in Nigeria is to ensure that public assets are properly insured.
Idriss stated this while addressing members of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) who paid him a courtesy visit in his office recently.
According to him, “The benefits of insuring government assets, especially in disaster management, are immense, and these minimise losses and waste.
He said: “It has become imperative for insurance companies to start marketing themselves like other professions do; rather than waiting for government’s legislation to compel people to buy i insurance, contrary to an open market economic system. People do not really understand the importance of taking an insurance and how it can help ameliorate sad situations like disability from road accidents, and death of a loved one”.
Idriss also warned that if NCRIB does not take the job of Public Education serious, it would be doing Nigerians a great dis-service. He further called on members of the public to embrace Insurance in order to minimise losses.
Earlier, the newly elected President of NCRIB, Mr. Ayodapo Shoderu, had in his remarks solicited the Director-General’s assistance in promoting awareness for insurance in Nigeria.
Shoderu commended the FEMA boss, saying; “as a member of our noble profession, we are glad that you have been found worthy of this appointment”. He further stated that the Insurance Brokers are ready to assist the FEMA to secure the best insurance policies possible, in order to carry out its mandate effectively.