By Archibong Jeremiah
The Cross River State Commissioner for Water Resources, Mr. Gab Odu has disclosed that the State Government spends about 10 to 15 million naira monthly for electricity bill to pump water across the State.
The Commissioner bared his mind recently in an interview with CrossRiverWatch in his office where he stated that “I have come to realize that an establishment such as this need to generate its own power which it can use, if not, we would find ourselves just working to pay NEPA bills.”
Adding that, “How can you think that Cross River State Water Board would be paying ten to fifteen million naira a month for the power it consumes to generate water? When we pay this, there will be no money to pay into the government treasury to repay the loans that we have gotten to establish these things. When there is no electric power, we have to go into buying of diesel which is very expensive.”
To solve electricity problem, Mr. Gab said his office is considering hydro source of electricity production and that “we have contacted the Germans and Belgians and shared this problem with them and they are coming to look into this situation and see how we can solve it. I believe that before the end of July, they would have come here for the feasibility studies.”
Furthermore, as part of his strides to regulate and provide efficient water as his mandate entails, Mr. Odu revealed that they have proposed a bill called Water Bill to the Cross River State House of Assembly through the State Governor.
Talking on the bill he said, “That Water Bill in Cross River State would enunciate the proper use of water, our streams, rivers, springs, underground water, we would regulate as well as boreholes. Some of the boreholes were just dug a few meters and it starts bringing water that is not fit for drinking, the Water Bill will address all those issues”.
As to why presently there is no stable supply of water in the State, the Water Resources Commissioner maintained that, “We are taking repairs of broken pipes and other pipes that are eroded due to erosion, we are taking repairs of our equipment seriously because since pipe-borne water came to Calabar, it is getting to twenty years now, no repairs have been done we are doing turn around maintenance. Ever since the construction company from Europe came and installed these things there has been no turn-around maintenance”.
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