Kogi Government and Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) yesterday signed a multi-billion naira contract for the stabilisation, reclamation and channeling of Adumu and Agassa erosion sites in Olamaboro and Okene local government areas.
NEWMAP is a World Bank assisted project aimed at addressing the Nigerian gully erosion crisis in Southeastern Nigeria and land degradation in Northern Nigeria on a multi-dimensional scale.
The agreement signed by Kogi State governor Yahaya Bello, NEWMAP representatives and some contractors at the governor’s office in Lokoja is aimed at ensuring a lasting solution to concerns of environmental degradation in the afftected areas.
Governor Bello noted that his government cares for the people of the state and as such, it is ensuring that the environment where they live in was safe and conducive for them to thrive.
He emphasised that Kogi State, under his watch, has a culture of proper care for the environment based on the fact that such action determines how the environment reacts to human activities.
The governor thanked the World Bank for providing financial support towards ensuring that issues of environmental degradation in the state and other parts of the country are reduced to the barest minimum.
Urging the global bank to do more, Governor Bello also lauded the federal government for ensuring that environmental challenges are taken with utmost seriousness.
The governor urged the contractors to mobilise to the site on time and deliver within the 15-month time frame provided for in the details of the contracts.
The project coordinator of NEWMAP, Barrister ladi Ahmed Jatto, in her opening remarks, noted that the governor has shown so much concern towards solving environment issues and that despite the dwindling allocation of the state, he released N900,000 million counterpart fund to facilitate and fast track the Engineering Designs.
She stated that after a rigorous and meticulous bidding process, two firms namely NIGERPET Structures Limited and NAEL and BIN HARMAL NBHH/HARTLAND were awarded the contracts.
She noted that the Civil works for Agassa Erosion site was one billion, three hundred and thirty-six million, seven hundred and ninety eight thousand, one hundred and thrity four naira, four kobo (N1,336,798,134.04) while the one for Adumu Erosion site was awarded for two billion, six hundred and thirteen million, seven hundred and twenty six thousand, two hundred and eighty four naira, forty kobo (N2, 613, 726,284.40).
The project coordinator further noted that based on the governor’s directives, NEWMAP in recent times, awarded the contract for the Engineering Design of eight erosion sites namely Ugwolawo Erosion site and Ogane Aji erosion site.
Others are Ankpa Gully Erosion Site, Etahi Gully Site, Ozuri Gully site, Omigbo River Channelisation, Greater Lokoja water scheme, Afor Gam- Gam site and the permanent site of the Federal University, Felele, all spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.
She pointed out that the contractor had submitted the draft design for the greater Lokoja water works, which has been sent to Federal Control Office in Abuja for review.