Over five billion naira have been said to be lost annually to the abandoned Ikere George Dam project, located in Iseyin local government in Oyo State, as critical potentials of the dam like power generation, potable water distribution, fish and aquatic resources and farming have been left to waste.
A socio-political group, Ebedi Frontliners, Iseyin (EFI), who disclosed this after their monthly meeting which held at the Aseyin’s Palace in Iseyin on Saturday said time was rife for the Oyo State government to enter into an agreement with the federal government on ways to agree on a concession, so that the State could make use of the dam for its planned power generation project.
In a statement, signed by the Publicity Director of the group, Alhaji ‘Segun Fasasi after the meeting, the body urged governor Seyi Makinde to urgently seek the audience of the concerned federal agencies in order to curb waste and make good use of the potentials of the dam to raise the economic power of the State and promote job creation.
Ikere George Dam project was initiated in 1979 by the then Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo’s military administration while work started on the 565 cubic-metre multi-purpose dam in 1980 by the late President Shehu Shagari, after which it was abandoned till date.
“Our country has shown overtime that we like to see resources go to waste, we have gotten reliable data on financial loss Nigeria is accruing annually if you look at the potentials of Ikere George Dam like the body of the water for drinking and farming, fish business, recreational activities and generation of power and the rest and I can safely tell you we lose over #5billion annually to the abandonment of the project.
“If we look at that humongous waste and our need as a nation, we can easily conclude that it is time that urgent attention is given to the project, we need the State government, through our amiable governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, to please look into this and find a way of reaching out to the federal government on a concession agreement so that the project can be completed and the people will benefit.”
Fasasi called on the State administration to continue on its stride to promote viable economy by encouraging local and foreign investors to see the potentials in the State that would drive its economy and empower the people.
He said the people of Iseyin would continue to support the welfarist’ programmes and policies of the Makinde administration as according to him, the programmes impacted positively on the common people, especially at the grassroot.
Oyo State Commissioner for Energy and Miniral Resources, Mr Seun Ashamu had recently announced the efforts being made by the State government towards achieving independent power supply as an option against the effects of electricity generation in the country, which according to him have been an albatross on economic growth.
Ashamu added that the State would take advantage of its vast natural potentials like dams and landscapes to achieve this feat among others in the march by the Seyi Makinde-led administration to revamp commercial activities and empower the citizens.