Mr. Peter Akpatason, the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate for Akoko-Edo constituency in the lower chamber the House of Representatives has stated that there should be a probe on Ojirami Dam, while he promised to make it functioning again to make water available for the people.
He called on the people of the areas that would benefit from the dam to direct their grievances at Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, which was responsible for the disbursement of the N1.5 billion appropriated for the project by the 7th National Assembly. He said the 6th Assembly appropriated N500 million to revamp the dam, but that the money was not released. The Ojirami Dam was built in 1974 and commissioned by former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon(retd) to provide water to Owan, part of Estako and Akoko-Edo but the dam became dilapidated and could hardly supply water to its host community, Ojirami in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state.
In a chat with journalists yesterday, Akpatason said the funds released were only sufficient to change the pumps. His words: “The de-silting was done but I believe it was grossly in adequate because of poor budget releases. “However, at some point in the 7th Assembly, the provision of N1. 5 billion was made for dredging of the dam. But I don’t know where that money went to. “I don’t know whether it was used for dredging, because we never had access to the contractors and I think it is important that questions are asked about that. “I had asked our NDDC Committee, but I never got an answer till date; the N1.5 billion was an NDDC provision in the budget.
“When we got on board in this new dispensation, we tried as much as possible to revitalise the dam. When I took over from Akogun in the National Assembly, the funds were not released. “We worked hard to focus more on getting Ojirami Dam to work optimally and as we speak, all the pumps have been changed by the manufacturers; the same company that established the dam. So we have the best pump as we speak. “There is need to disilt the dam because it has been occupied by a lot of impurities, as it is called in technical terms.”
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