Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has asked the Federal Government to refund N24.4 billion, representing 30 percent of the money spent by the state on Zaria water project.
According to the governor, the refund was in line with relevant laws that stipulated 30 percent refund to states for any capital project executed.
The governor’s demand was contained in a statement by his Senior Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adeleke, issued in Kaduna on Friday.
El-Rufai however commended the Federal Ministry of Finance for earlier approving a refund of N17.3 billion for the project, but said the actual sum was N24.4 billion based on the current exchange rate of naira to the dollar.
He therefore appealed to the Federal Government for timely release of the fund, promising that the amount would be ploughed back into the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project.
The governor further urged the Federal Government to construct the Itisi Dam to enable the state government execute the Greater Kaduna Water Project with ease.
According to him, the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project, designed to expand water supply in the state capital, would cost 600 million dollars.
On the Zaria Water Supply and Expansion Project, the governor said N81.3 billion had been spent so far.
He said that the amount was expended on the project by the state government, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
El-Rufai explained that the state government funded the Water Treatment Plant at the cost of N24.6 billion and paid N914.1 million for consultancy services.
“AfDB funded the rehabilitation and construction of water and sanitation facilities at the cost of 101 million dollars, which translates to N30.9 billion at the exchange rate of N306.50 to a dollar.
“While IsDB funded the construction of water facilities at the cost of 81 million dollars amounting to N24.8 billion.
“The amount injected by AfDB and IsDB was a loan that will be repaid by the state government,” he said.
The governor described the commissioning of Phase II of the Zaria Water Project as another milestone in reversing about three decades of water scarcity in the city.