By Jonathan Ugbal
The All Progressives Congress APC, in Cross River State has berated the state government for its inability to provide portable drinking water for residents despite a 200 million dollar loan obtained from the World Bank for water infrastructure.
“The state misappropriated the funds and consumers are no forced to pay exorbitant water bills for months without getting a drop of water while thousands of women and children trek hours with big jerry cans on their heads through harsh terrains to search for water.” a statement signed by the publicity secretary, Mens Ikpeme and made available to CrossRiverWatch said.
The statement titled “Water Board Taps Very Dry,” said the “Queues on private boreholes operators are as long as queues on an international football match day at the National Stadium,” with “Several lines formed to accommodate these queues; still consumers end up not fetching water for months.”
The APC queried the appropriation of the loan obtained from the World Bank as the statement said the sum was enough to provide water infrastructure for the state and accused the People’s Democratic Party PDP, led administration of misappropriation.
“(The) Cross River Ministry of Water Board obtained a loan of $200million without using same for the purpose it was meant for. The PDP-led Government interfered with said funds by misappropriating it for their evil motives.
“If the loan facility extended to the Ministry of Water Board was used appropriately, then how was the said fund implemented to support the cause of the State water project?
“Regrettably, the hegemonic control of the loan from the World Bank is not implemented with the genuine desire to strengthen the supply of portable drinking water to meet the expectation of the people.
“A $200 million loan facility is adequate to fund the State’s water supply which could have been a positive step towards improving the water supply in the State.”
The facility acted like “a conduit pipe for the draining of Water Board funds” which the PDP-led Government “lavished and looted” the statement APC said.
“Ayade’s PDP-led Government came on board to kill and bury the Water Ministry. His first mission was to relieve the professional contractors that were handling the Water Ministry and replace them with his Obudu Caucus, substandard apprentice contractors. His apprentice contractors took upon themselves to sack all the members of staff of the Water Board and engaged untrained Obudu people who came and destroyed the ailing Water Board machines/materials which resulted in making the water look very corrosive as water taken from a borrow pit.
“Worst of all, these immediately- placed, untrained staffers have not been paid salaries due them for several months,” the statement read.
The APC said it cannot afford to be silent over the matter as “poor water supply affects people more than war and terrorism combined.” It continued; “Water is considered as a finite resource that has limits and boundaries to its availability and sustainability for use. The balance between supply and demand is delicate.”
Furthermore, the APC said that; “The PDP-led Government shall be pushed to know that availability of portable drinking water has and shall continue to detect where, and to what extent, development will occur. Portable drinking water must be in sufficient supply for the State to develop.
“If Ayade stays/remains in office, there will be no water in the State as we shall have a complete state of drought.”
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