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‘Consumers owe Benue water agency N1.5b’

By Joseph Wantu (Makurdi) and Ameh Ochojila (Abuja)
17 November 2021   |   3:35 am
Consumers owe Benue State Water Board about N1.5 billion in the past 10 years, just as the state government is indebted to electricity distributors to the tune of N40 million.

Tap water. PHOTO: Getty Images

Consumers owe Benue State Water Board about N1.5 billion in the past 10 years, just as the state government is indebted to electricity distributors to the tune of N40 million.

General Manager (GM) of the board, Gideon Shenge, and the Commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperative, Victor Ukaha – who is overseeing the Ministry for Water Resources and Environment, disclosed this to newsmen in their offices, in Makurdi, yesterday.

However, the Federal Ministry of Water Resources has rescheduled the 28th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Water Resources.
Earlier scheduled to hold in Sokoto State from November 29 to December 3, the summit will now hold in Abuja from December 12 to 17, 2021.

Shenge, who expressed disgust that most of the debtors were high-placed individuals in the society, added that government officials were in the habit of defaulting in the payment of just N2,000 monthly.

The GM stated that lack of power supply and chemicals for purification, among several other challenges, were impediments to the smooth operation of the board. 

He, however, intimated that despite the challenges, the board had been generating over N500,000 to N1 million monthly from sale of water to private and corporate organisations within the state.

But Ukaha, who regretted the lackadaisical attitude of the people over payment of water bills, noted that water is not free anywhere in the world.

THE Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Mrs. Didi Walson-Jack, who disclosed the change of date and venue, in a statement yesterday, gave no reason for the postponement, but regretted the inconvenience it might cause.

Themed ‘Emerging Financial and Management Challenges for Sustainable Water Infrastructure in Nigeria’, the meeting was expected to positively impact all stakeholders in the water sector, said Walson-Jack.