El-Rufai’s address at Commissioning of Phase Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project

Address by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the Commissioning of Phase 2 of the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project (Transmission Mains, Service Reservoirs, Booster Stations and Distribution System), held in Zaria on Thursday, 22nd August 2019


  1. It is an honour to welcome you all to the ancient city of Zaria for this historic commissioning of Phase II of the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project. This is another milestone in reversing the shortage of water in Zaria and ending the pain endured by the residents of the city.
  • Mr. President, the people of Zaria are evidently delighted to see you. They have consistently provided you some of the biggest votes in your political area. It is only fitting that you are with them today to celebrate the restoration of public water supplies to Zaria. Anyone younger than 30 years who resides in Zaria has probably never seen water flow from the public grid. Thanks to the completion of the new water treatment plant in 2017 and the construction of transmission and distribution infrastructure that is being commissioned today, what was once a dream is now reality.
  • The development objective of the Zaria Water Project is to improve access to sustainable potable water supply services in Zaria metropolis and its environs. Water is critical to human welfare and quality of life, and its availability in reliable and safe quantities helps economic and commercial activities aside from its contribution to better health outcomes through a reduction in water borne diseases.
  • Your Excellency, Mr. President, we had the pleasure of commissioning Phase 1 of the Zaria Water project on 27th May 2017. On that day, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, then national chairman of the APC,  cut the tape on  the new 150 million litres per day Zaria Water Treatment Plant, solely funded by the Kaduna State Government. When we took office in 2015, contractors working on the project were owed N3.6bn. We liquidated this debt in 2016, and removed the last obstacle to completion of the water treatment plant.
  • The completion of the 150MLD Water Treatment accelerated work on the infrastructure required to get the water into homes, industries and commercial premises. That is the focus of projects in the Phase 2 that Mr. President is kindly commissioning today.  
  • The major components of Phase 2 are about 80km of Transmission Mains, 475km of Distribution Mains, two Booster Stations and ten Service Reservoirs of various capacities. Thanks to these facilities, public water is flowing in Zaria and Sabon-Gari local government areas.
  • This project also has a sanitation component. Over 350 units of modern toilet facilities have been constructed in various primary and secondary schools as well as market places. This will definitely contribute to the improvement in the wellbeing of our people.
  • In delivering this project to uplift our people, we have had the good fortune of committed partners. Your Excellency, Mr. President, permit me to extend our deep appreciation to the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) for their support in financing the project. In implementing the project,  we made savings of about USD30M was realised. These savings are to be used to extend the transmission and distribution pipeline to Soba local government area and parts of Giwa, due to the advantage of proximity to Sabon-Gari local government.
  • Both the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have already agreed to support the implementation of the next phase of the Zaria Water Project. Phase 3 is the extension of the water supply to the other local government areas captured in the project design like Lere, Ikara, Kubau and Giwa. Upon the completion of Phase 3, water should flow in all the local governments in Zone 1.
  1. We are also looking forward to more cooperation from the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and others in realising similar projects. We are designing the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project to expand water supply in our state capital. This could cost up to USD 600m. There is no doubt that once again, we would require collaboration with our development partners to realise this aspiration. A primary condition for the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project is the construction of Itisi Dam by the Federal Government.
  1. Your Excellency, Mr. President, the Federal Government is an indispensable partner for large water projects. If the FG did not construct Galma Dam, there would be no Zaria Water Project. Therefore, we are profoundly grateful to have the FG’s support.  The Kaduna State Government appreciates the Federal Government for solely providing the N11.80bn spent on the construction of Galma Dam.
  1. The Kaduna State Government, the Islamic Developmen Bank and the African Development Bank have together spent N81.3bn on the Zaria Water Supply and Expansion Project, as follows:
    1. KDSG funded Water Treatment Plant    N24,697,247,405.99
    1. KDSG funded Consultancy Services for Water Treatment Plant N914,100,251.91
    1. AfDB funded Rehabilitation & Construction of Water and Sanitation facilities ($101m @ 1$=N306.50) N30,956,500,000.00
    1. IsDB funded Construction of Water facilities($81m @ 1$= N306.50) N24,826,500,000.00.
  1. Mr. President, the National Water Policy commits the Federal Government to reimburse state governments 30% of their capital expense on water projects. We thank the Federal Ministry of Finance for approving a refund of N17.32bn to Kaduna State for capital expenses on the Zaria Water Project. While we await receipt of this refund, I wish to appeal to Mr. President to approve that Kaduna State be refunded the full sum of N24.4bn from federal coffers. These refunds will be plowed back into the Greater Kaduna Water Supply Project.
  1. We wish to acknowledge and congratulate the contractors and consultants that have helped complete Phases 1 and 2 of the Zaria Water Supply and Expansion Project:

Mothercat constructed the 150MLD Water Treatment Plant

For the pipelines:
b. Mothercat Nig Ltd 
c. Bran & Lubbe Water Engineers Nig Ltd; and
d. Gamji Nig Ltd 

For Service Reservoirs 
a. Mothercat Nig Ltd 

For Booster Stations 
a. Naston Engineering Ltd 


  1. Dar handersen Shair & Partners (for 150 MLD Water Treatment Plant)
  2. Gauf Engineering/Dar jab consultants (Afdb Projects)
  3. Enviplan teamwork associates (IsDB projects)
  4. SMEC Consulting Ltd (Solid Waste management study/pilot scheme ); and
  5. Teamwork Associates (Design/project supervision of Construction of Sanitation facilities). 
  1. In our midst today is the former Vice-President, His Excellency, Architect Namadi Sambo. He initiated this project and negotiated its financing when he was Governor of Kaduna State. That his immediate successors allowed the project to stall cannot diminish or erase his efforts to make it happen. In recognition of his contribution, we invited him to the commissioning of 150MLD Water Treatment Plant in 2017. We are happy that he is able to join us today to celebrate another milestone for this project.
  1. We thank His Highness, the Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris, for his role as an advocate of this project. Through the long night of severe water shortage, he campaigned for this project whenever prominent persons visited him. He persuaded the people of Zaria to be patient as he gave them hope that Zaria Water will happen. He has also encouraged people to see water as a service for which they should pay. We appreciate His Highness for showing an example of what the classic role of a responsible community leader should be.
  1. I call on the people of Zaria and its environs to help in safeguarding this multi-billion naira infrastructure investment. We should ensure that we protect all the structures and equipment from vandalisation. As customers of the Kaduna State Water Corporation, residents of Zaria and environs should  promptly pay their water bills so that the services can be maintained and improved. The government will develop a special scheme to subsidise access to water for the very poor.

Thank you all for listening.