The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, on Monday said the Federal Government was working toward speedy completion of the Kashimbilla Multi-purpose dam in Taraba.
Adamu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the Federal Government would ensure timely release of funds to contractors handling the project.
The minister said that the government had carried out a technical audit of the project and observed that more funds were needed.
He said the contractor advocated for an additional N60 billion in its Revised Estimated Total Cost (RETC) for the construction of the dam, saying that was the reason for the delay in completion.
The minister said the water impoundment for the N105 billion project ought to take place this February, but due to issues in the RETC, it had to be suspended.
“We are supposed to impound the water in February this year, but there is an RETC, the contractor is asking for another 60 billion, it is one of such projects that we told you we started this independent audit.
“The consultant and the contractor have done the RETC, it is supposed to be sent to the president in May 2015, it was not done, so it was brought to my attention.
“We have appointed an independent consultant to review it and advice us, he has come up with a lot of issues, we had a meeting he presented his reports two days ago, we are inviting the contractor to tell him our position.
“We will renegotiate the RETC, if he agrees, am now in a better position to now take it and defend it at the FEC.
“Once we reach agreement with him we will take it to the president first for anticipatory approval, then we take it to FEC, and we get it approved, we are determined to finish that project.’’
Adamu said completing the dam was one of the top priority projects of the present administration.
NAN recalls that the contractor in charge of project, Mr Michael Rolbin, said that an additional N50 billion was needed to ensure the completion of the project in 2017.
Rolbin said that if the Federal Government failed to release the funds for completion work to begin by January, then the project might be delayed till January, 2018.
He said such delay would force an increase in the money needed to complete the project from N50 billion to N70 billion, adding that everything except power supply was 90.23 per cent completed.
NAN reports that the dam has the capacity to generate 400 megawatts of electricity, a water treatment plant capable of supplying 60,000 cubic meters of water to about 400,000 people.
It also boasts of an irrigation facility of about 2,000 hectares and an airstrip. (NAN)