The Minister of Water Resources, Sarah Reng Ochekpe, has called for strong partnership among the federal, state and local governments in the provision, rehabilitation, treatment and management of water supply in the country.
Ochekpe spoke in Jos, the Plateau State capital, on Monday when the committee on Good Governance tour, led by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, inspected the Greater Jos-Bukuru Water Supply Project constructed by the Plateau State Government in Jos-North Local Government Area of the State.
The water scheme is currently under rehabilitation.
The minister said that provision of water supply to the populace was the mandate of all tiers of governments, adding that governance was about providing facilities, maintaining them and rehabilitating them whenever they become obsolete and cannot provide effective service, especially as the population increases.
She said: “What the Plateau State Government was doing was rehabilitating the treatment plant and reticulation facilities.
“That is to expand and replace old pipes to get more water to the communities.
“For us at the federal level, we are excited with what the Plateau State Government is doing because to provide portable water to all communities across the country we must have a strong partnership between the states and the federal governments and it is very encouraging that Plateau State Government is coming strong on this.”
The minister therefore encouraged other states to emulate the Plateau State Government by joining hands with the Federal Government to ensure greater access to water by Nigerians.
She said that the project embarked upon by the state was to ensure proper management and supply of adequate water to state.
She also noted that the pipes they were laying was to replace the aged ones to avoid loss of water as a result of broken pipes under the ground.
Conducting the good governance team round the project, the Plateau State Commissioner for Water Resources, Hon. Idi Waziri, said that since 1981, there has not been any major repair on the water supply treatment plant until the coming of the present administration.
The rehabilitation therefore comprised all the equipments on the machine and it has consumed about N2.2 billion, Waziri said
Waziri said that after the rehabilitation, it was discovered that the pipes were also too old and needed to be changed, not only in that particular treatment plant but also at Laminga and Bukuru metropolises water supply treatment that have the capacity of 18,000 cubic meter and 2,500 cubic meter per day respectively.
The state government, he said, decided to change the old pipes and also to purchase two sets of electrical generator as power supply was one of the challenges in the three water supply treatment plants.
He also revealed that there was another water supply treatment plant that was constructed since 1934, which needed to be rehabilitated.
The Plateau State Government has secured a N8 billion loan from Zenith Bank to embark on the projects of reticulation, expansion, rehabilitation, changing of old pipes as well as purchasing of two new electrical generating sets, Waziri said.