Kogi, Bilvisco seal pact to build N20 billion metered water project
Kogi State government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with consultancy firm, Bilvisco Investments Ltd, to build the first metered water project in Nigeria.
Principal Consultant, Bilvisco, Williams Omojasola, who led his team of investors, said the project, Osara Water Distribution Project, which would be sited at the Kogi Central Senatorial District would generate over 1000 direct employment for Nigerians.
Speaking to newsmen in a media parley, Omojasola stated that the project would cost about N20 billion and the partnership with the state government would eradicate the critical water crises in the district, and provide cheap portable water to the people. “This project would solve the problem of acute water shortage being faced by the people of Kogi Central, where you see women wake up as early as 4 A.M to search for water and trekking several kilometers.”
However, he noted that water would be channeled from Osara Dam located at Itakpe area of the district, with a pipeline of about 55 to 60 kilometers and 45 kilometers of distribution network. He said the project would take about two years to complete before they would start applying charges. He also noted that the firm would bring in a team of civil and water engineers from Germany to carry out further assessment in preparation for the project commencement.
Speaking on how to recuperate their funds, Omojasola said, “We are to build, finance, operate, and then transfer it back to the state government. We are to recoup our funds through a programme we call the User Charge Mode (UCM), where we charge beneficiaries through the use of meters as they use the water.”
In his remarks, Director, Logistics Operations, Bilvisco, Tajudeen Bello, said the technology to be used for the project is topnotch and would still be in good condition after 25 years when they would hand the project over to the government. He reiterated that the project would generate employment opportunities for locals, as 70 per cent of the work force would be sourced locally and only 30 per cent would be expatriates.
Speaking on other Bilvisco plans, he noted that the firm would also move to Kebbi State, to develop fishponds in the state.
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