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30.11.2005 General News

Nigeria to train Ghanaian water engineers

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Accra, Nov. 30, GNA- The Nigerian Federal Minister of Water Resources, Alhaji Muhtari Shehu Shagari, on Wednesday unveiled plans to train Ghanaian water engineers and technicians in the oil rich Federal Water Institute, free of charge.

Alhaji Shagari, who made this known to his Ghanaian counterpart, Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman at a meeting at the Ministry of Water Resources, Works and Housing in Accra, said training of the technical staff would not attract tuition and accommodation fees, except feeding. Alhaji Shagari said it would be feasible for Ghanaians to train at the Institute, which enjoys international repute, instead of going beyond the shores of Africa.

The beneficiaries should have the basic qualification for National Diploma, High National Diploma and for Post Graduate courses, ranging between one and two years.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman lauded the plan, saying, it was in the spirit of the ECOWAS, the New Partnership for Africa's Development and South-South Cooperation.

"It is better to train our staff in Nigeria than to train them in exotic places, where life is different," he said.

Mr Owusu-Agyeman thanked Nigeria for donating 500 hand pumps it assembled locally to Ghana, where lack of water is a major problem. He said Ghana had to resort to loans and grants to provide water to the people, saying, rectifying water shortages in the national capital Accra alone was in excess of 120 million dollars.

"Ninety six (96) per cent of national investment in water is donor-driven," he explained. The Minister said Government was m aking efforts to get a German investor to manufacture hand pumps locally. He complained about the lack of capacity by Ghanaian contractors to execute donor funded water projects and expressed the hope that, such projects would be scaled down in future to rope in some of the small scale contractors.