The recently introduced N30,000 permit for borehole drilling in Oyo State is “anti-people,” Michael Ale, the national president of the Association of Water and Borehole Drillers (AWDROP), has said.
Mr Ale said in a statement on Thursday in Ibadan that the current skyrocketing price of diesel, gas, petrol and others “is already making life difficult for the people.”
“And they do not need any other hostile and stifling policy to worsen the already bad situation.
“The cost of diesel has gone up by 200 per cent, which is taking its toll on the cost of drilling boreholes.
“And many Nigerians without access to safe drinking water have increased to 70 per cent, as against 55 per cent in 2020,” he said.
Mr Ale appealed to the state government to encourage the people to drill boreholes in their quest for safe water.
He noted that many sub-nationals have abandoned water projects at the expense of roads and other physical infrastructures which appear better and more acceptable to the people.
AWDROP president, however, admitted that there was a need to regulate drilling operations in the state because it has the highest number of drilling rigs, numbering about 109 in the country.
He advised Governor Seyi Makinde to sensitise the people of the state before implementing the new policy.
However, Adeyinka Ajayi, a Consultant to Oyo State Government, told journalists on Friday that AWDROP and Borehole Drilling Association of Nigeria (BORDAN) signed the N30,000 permit fee in 2019.
He said the N30,000 levy was a reduction from the N50,000 levied on the associations in 2018, adding that it was not a new policy.
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Mr Ajayi, who is also the Chairman, Royalgem Multisector Ltd., described Mr Ale’s statement as unfortunate, adding that the levy was on drilling companies and not the masses.
He said the governor reduced the levy from N50,000 to N30,000 in 2019 as agreed to by the associations.
Mr Ajayi said that all the associations had agreed with the state government and signed to pay the N30,000 permit fee.
Kolawole Olayiwola, the state Chairman of AWDROP, said his association and BORDAN, had agreed on the payment of N30,000 permit fee.
Mr Olayiwola said that nobody could claim ignorance of the payment as agreed on in 2019.
The AWDROP chairman wondered why someone was just coming out in 2022 to kick against what they had signed since 2019.
“The agreement on these fees was signed on June 29, 2019, with the state government at the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources,” he said.
According to him, the agreement as contained in the 2019 agreement was N75,000 for registration, N50,000 for annual renewal, and N30,000 permit fee for borehole drilling.
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