TURNING OF SOD SPEECH DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THEEXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF OSUN, OGBENI RAUF ADESOJI AREGBESOLA ON ILESA WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION PROJECT, ILESA ON MONDAY, 27TH NOVEMBER, 2017
The Executive Deputy Governor
Members of the Executive Council
The Senior Consultant (Water Resources)
The Chairman, House Committee on Water
The Permanent Secretaries present
The Local Government Chairmen present
The General Manager, Osun State Water Corporation
The Owa of Ijesaland
The Owa – In – Council
The Communities Leaders
Other Protocol Observed.
It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this epoch making event of turning of sod in respect of Ilesa Water Supply and Sanitation Project.
I want to thank Almighty God for making this project a reality in the tenure of this administration. It aims at consolidating the achievement of one of our cardinal programme i.e. Restoration of Healthy Living through the provision of potable water and breaking the jinx surrounding Ilesa Water Supply.
Brief History on Ilesa Water Supply
The old Ilesa Water Supply Scheme, commissioned in 1952 in the old Western Region, supplying 2,700m3/day went into a state of disrepair in the mid – eighties as the Efon – Alaye Intake Structure (now in Ekiti State) was frequently filled with silts; efforts to de-silt became unproductive and raw water abstraction impossible. The 22kmEfon – Alaye/Ilesa Asbestos Cement Raw water mains became deplorable and unserviceable because of frequent damage due to old age and theroad expansion works onEfon – Alaye created a worst scenario whenseveral kilometres of the raw water Mains was damaged. These and others led to abandonment and complete shutdown of the treatment facilities and hence led to Ilesa inability to access public water supply and had to totally depend on water from doubtful sources.
Another Ilesa Water Supply Scheme was conceived during the administration of Uncle Bola Ige, the Executive Governor of old Oyo Statewhen it became clear that old Ilesa Water Supply Scheme would not be able to serve Ilesa with potable water because of the increasing population. The contract for the new scheme was awarded to Messrs. Johnson Brothers International (Nig.) Ltd at a contract price of $65m. The Eximbank (USA) loan of US70m had been secured for Oyo State Government for the procurement of essential Mechanical and Electrical equipment and services to be rendered by the Technical Partners, Johnson Brothers International (Nig.) Ltd, i.e. Johnson Brothers Corporation of Minnesota, USA. The loan agreement which was signed in 1983 by old Oyo State Government was guaranteed by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Messrs. Johnson Brother International mobilized to site in 1983 but not much work could be done before the military took over power in Nigeria on 31st December, 1983.
Prior to the coup d’etat, a sum of N7.2m and $11.6mwas paid to JBI Ltd.; these payments were made in accordance to the contract agreement signed by the then Oyo State Government. The manner in which the said amount was managed by the contractors and their overseas partners, Messrs. Johnson Brothers Int’l Ltd created a lot of problem, so the project could not make much progress and became stalled and all project activities stopped. The USA Technical Partners of JBI Ltd moved out of the sites. The Eximbank Foreign loan for the project was lost. The contract with JBI (Nig.) Ltd was terminated by the old Oyo State in July 1985.
Out of the external loan, some equipment and materials such as pump-sets, generators, electrical items and large diameter pipes were purchased and stored at Asejire Waterworks, Oyo State.
In 1985, Oyo State Military Government commenced negotiations with Nigerian Water Resources and Development Ltd &Messrs. Taylor Woodrow, United Kingdom (UK) in order to re-award the project but the negotiations did not succeed.
In 1987, General Staff Headquarters, Dodan Barracks, Lagos via Letter No. GHQ/CGS/322 of February, 1987 directed Oyo State Government to allow Messrs. Johnson Brothers International Ltd.to continue with the jobs in view of the huge sum of money already committed into the project.
Consequent upon the above, the contract of the New Ilesa Water Supply Scheme was re-awarded in conjunction with that of Ejigbo on 29th April, 1987, however, the efforts of the contractor to resuscitate Eximbank loan to execute the project failed because the Federal Government did not guarantee the loan and the Technical Partners JBI of USA withdrew in 1992.
The project was transferred to Osun State on its creation in August, 1991. Osun State Government decided to re-award the project to Messrs. Johnson Brothers International Ltd in 1992 but no new Contract Agreement was signed. JBI (Nig.) Ltd relied on the 1987 Contract Agreement signed with the then Oyo State Government which could not hold water.
All these were the efforts of the previous administrations on the New Ilesa Water Scheme since 1983;and from all the efforts narrated above, the State Government inherited two (2) large generators, some electrical equipment and about 18km of ductile iron pipes, out of which the Government of Prince OlagunsoyeOyinlola laid over 9km from Osu to College of Education, Ilesain an attempt to get water to Ilesa, but a drop of water has not flowed through these pipes since then. Attempts were made by our Administrationto utilized the generators inherited, but all efforts failed as the manufacturer informed that the model is outdated. Some of the remaining Ductile Iron Pipes are kept at the Centre for Black Art Festival compound, Aberewith the majority of them stacked at a school premises in Igila, on the way to Ilesa.
In the year 2006, the Federal Government of Nigeria awarded a contract for the construction of a dam at Kajola to Messrs. RCC, as a source of raw water for another Ilesa Water Supply Scheme. By 2009, the project has been abandoned because of the needs for variation in scope and cost due to economic devastation of the people in the area and large compensations that would be paid to land ownersshould their land be submerged by the dam; The contractors therefore recommended a reduced scope of works which cumulated into a weir across the OyileRiver and an intake structure.
At the inception of this administration in 2010, I wrote to the Federal Government on the need to complete the project as our priority. The contract was re-awarded in 2012, completed in 2014 and handed over to the State’s Water Corporation in 2015.
In the interim, I took my technical team to the World Bank, Country Office, Abuja to source for funds for the other component of the project, but by the time the World Bank gave Nigeria $400M as loan for revamping water supply in the country, the State of Osunhas been taken out of the list of the beneficial States on the premise that there was no Water Policy for the Water Corporation to operate with. I did not rest on my oars and went to the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) to source for $100M for the completion of Ilesa project. Fortunately, the IsDB includedthe State of Osun in their list of beneficiaries.Just when the discussion on the loan will start the Senate moved to investigate all intending loans and considered whether it is healthy for Nigeria to take loans when the Governmentof Chief OlusegunObasanjohad just liquidated all Nigeria’s external loans. That assignment alone took two years after which Osun proposed loan was cut to $50M as against $100M.
While the Senate Committee was busy looking into the loan issues, the IDB advised us to engage an in-house consultant to carry out the feasibility study and conceptual design of the project inorder to save time.
The project package came up as follows:
– Component 1- 60,000m3/day Water Treatment plant at Kajola; (IsDB funding)
– Component 2- 22km Transmission mains and Booster Pump Station; “ “
– Component 3- 3No. 10,000m3 Concrete Circular Tanks in Ilesa; “ “
– Component 4- 530km Water Distribution Network within Ilesa; (State Govt. funding)
– Component 5- Provision for Sanitation Facilities “ “
In 2014, the IDB team came for project appraisal and approved the various components for funding. It was the IDB that got the approval of the Federal Ministry of Finance to increase the loan from $50m to $65m in order to be able to finish theirown components. The requestto make use of the pipes left behind by the former Oyo State was discussed with the Bank in other to save some money for the distribution network but the Bank declined and would not want anything to do with the left over pipes. With this, the State Government of Osun and the thirty-three (33) Local GovernmentAreas including Modakeke Area Office were saddled with the responsibility of looking for a sum of $41.95mto lay the 530km distribution network that will bring the water to the doorsteps of the consumers.The Local Government contribution is $13.3m(about N4b) of which N1b has been paid while the State Government is still looking for funds to fulfill her own obligation of $28.65m, as I earlier said. For the State contribution, we have applied to two International Development Partners, USAID and AfDB for both grants and loans respectively. It is expected that before the end of this Administration, the State commitments would be met and the State component would also commence.
Physical Implementation of the IsDB componentsof the project commenced in 2015 sequel to the public advertisements that were placed in National and International Newspapers for pre-qualification exercise; seeking qualified and experienced contractors with high financial turnoverthat will handle theconstruction of the Treatment Plant,the TransmissionMains&Booster Station, Concrete Reservoirs and the Design Review & Supervision Consultant for the construction works was also included in the advertisements. The Water Corporation had to follow the IsDB guidelines in all of these procurement processes.
Finally, this year, the contract for the construction of the 22km Transmission Mains to the Booster Pumping Stations and 3nos. Concrete Reservoirs were awarded to Messrs.Gamji Nig. Ltd, that has worked on similar IsDB water project in Kaduna State on 7th June, 2017. The Design Review &SupervisionConsultancy was also awarded to Messrs.MahabGhodss Consulting Engineering, Iran on 16thMay, 2017 while the contract for Water Treatment Plant is still undergoing bidding process.
The physical construction for all works will be completed in the year 2019 while the loan will close in 2020.
I want to show the appreciation of the Government and people of the State of Osun to the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) for their supports that made today possible.
With successful execution of this project, we aim to achieve the following objectives, which are:
(i) Improved access to safe, adequate and sustainable water supply to Ilesa and environs.
(ii) Improved health through provision of potable water supply and thereby reduce adult and infant mortality rates in Ilesa and its environs.
(iii) Improved socio – economic conditions of Ilesa and environs.
I am proud to inform this august gathering that the physical construction works have commenced on project sites as all paperworks have been completed. The sites locations for the three (3) Reservoirs have been cleared as well as the Booster Pumping Station site, the pipeline route for the Transmission Mains have been surveyed and all the compensations on the acquired lands have been settled by the Government of the State, and as I am talking to you now, all the pipes, fittings and materials needed for the construction of the Kajola – Ilesa Transmission Mains have been manufactured and ready for shipment to Nigeria. The contractor Messrs. Gamji Nig. Ltd. is more than ready for the job as many of us living inand around the project sites in Kajola and Ilesa could attest. I want also to say that the Water Treatment Plant to be located at Kajola is about to be awarded.
With all these, I want to confidently say that the project is on course and at this juncture, I want to thank Federal Government of Nigeria, Islamic Development Bank (our financier) for their unalloyed supports so far, Messrs. MahabGhodss Consultant Engineering (our Consultant), Messrs. Gamji Nig. Co. Ltd. (our contractor), and the Executing Agency (Osun State Water Corporation)for the job well done, God will continue to strengthen you all.
I want to thank our Royal Father, Oba Gabriel AdekunleAromolaran, the Owa – Obokun of Ijesaland for his understanding, patience and attention, the community leaders, politicians and other people here in attendance.
I am imploring you all to cooperate with our administration and the one that will take over from us for successful execution of this projectand others across the Stateso that they will not become moribund as many projects we met at the inception of this administrationin order for all and sundries to enjoy the dividend of democracy.
Before I conclude, I want to let you know that as part of this project, the Water Corporation is being restructured along international best practices and will be adequately trained and equipped to be able to perform better. This water supply system will be privatized for operation and maintenance and it is mandatory for the consumers to own this scheme and perform their civic responsibility by promptly and regularly paying their water rate for sustainability
It is pertinent to say that the water supply scheme has been designed to pay back the loan,
within a period of 20years and prepare for future expansion. Therefore the people of Ilesa must form a consumer forum asstakeholders and keep watch over this investment with the private operators who will run the system.
I thank you all for your kind attention.
Osun a dara!