The federal government on Sunday said it was shocked by the rate at which Nigerians engaged in boreholes drilling across the country, in a bid to find a solution to potable water.
The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, made the observation at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) forum in Abuja.
Mr Adamu, who attributed the situation to lapses in the provision of potable water, said such an issue could have been minimised if there were good and sound workable water schemes in the country.
“I am appalled at the rate at which boreholes are being drilled in urban centres.
“There is really no need for it if we have good and sound municipal water schemes working; we shall have no reason; we shall have no business having boreholes at all.
“I had the opportunity of working in a water agency in the old Kano State for years, in those years in the old Kano city; you could hardly see a borehole anywhere in the town.
“But I was shocked at one time a couple of years after I left, and I was on my own; I went into Kano city and I was seeing boreholes and overhead tanks as public water systems.
“It was shocking to me because we did know that we had a robust municipal water supply in those days that had standing pipes for people for free fetching of water and if you had the direct connection into your house, you paid.“
The minister said the recent declaration of “State of Emergency“ in the water sector, and the ongoing efforts to pass the National Water Bill were the steps taken by the Federal Government to curb the situation in the country.
According to him, efforts are ongoing by the federal government to obtain loan assistance from the World Bank for water projects in six strategic cities in Nigeria.
“We are even talking with the World Bank now, we want to create model cities, we have asked them to provide some facilities for rural water development and for urban water.
“And the idea is, we want to select like six cities in this country and make them model cities by helping to put all the necessary water infrastructure in place with house metering and so on.
“With the new corporate structure, we can create them as models for other urban settings, we will also have what we call small towns’ water supply which has been a bit successful.
“When we get this loan, the idea is to do a few as pilot projects and for the states should now key in based on these models and continue.“
Mr Adamu expressed worry over huge exploitation of the nation’s groundwater resources due to indiscriminate borehole drilling.
He added that groundwater resources served as the most important source of water which should not be tampered with.
He, however, gave assurance that when the National Water Bill was passed and finally signed into law, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Commission, the agency in charge of regulation, would be able to regulate borehole drillings. (NAN)
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