Residents and corporate bodies in Bauchi State are owing the State Water and Sewage Corporation (BSWSC) over one billion Naira of unsettled water bills.
Aminu Gital, the Managing Director of the BSWSC, disclosed this at a meeting between the management of the corporation and some civil society organisations (CSOs) in Bauchi on Wednesday.
He told the CSOs that the corporation registered over 22,000 water consumers in the state, but only 1,020 of them settled their monthly bills regularly.
“Water rate in the state is one of the lowest in the country because we charge N500 for high density areas, N750 for housing estates and N1000 for residents of the GRA, but despite this gesture, water consumers remain reluctant to settle this meagre bills,” he lamented.
He said that the huge debt was hindering the corporation from fulfilling its mandate of providing potable drinking water to the 20 Local Government Areas of the state.
Mr Gital outlined other challenges facing the corporation to include huge maintenance cost associated with payment of NEPA bills, fueling of generating plants and purchase of chemicals.
He expressed willingness to collaborate with the CSOs in sensitising customers on the need to settle water bills.
“We are ready to partner the CSOs in our efforts to sensitise the public on the need to settle their bills in view of the fact that supply of potable drinking water has the potential to reduce the cost of treatment of water borne diseases,” Mr Gital said.
Earlier, Coordinator of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project (USAID supported project), Soni Elisha, had listed areas of support from the CSOs to include water source monitoring, water treatment monitoring and water quality measurement from source to end point, among others.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that at the end of the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the management of BSWSC and Network of Society for Water and Sanitaion (NEWSAN), an umbrella body of CSOs working on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Bauchi.