Rivers signs 330,000 cu­bic litres wa­ter deal that may give 6,200 jobs

Business Day (Nigeria) - - NEWS - IG­NATIUS CHUKWU

Rivers State gov­ern­ment has signed con­tracts for the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and up­grad­ing of wa­ter sup­ply for Port Har­court and Obio/ Ak­por lo­cal coun­cil ar­eas, thereby re­viv­ing the loan deal aban­doned long ago.

The pro­ject, which will up­grade 496 kilo­me­tres of pipe­line, will pro­duce 330,000 cu­bic litres of potable wa­ter per day, ac­cord­ing to the Rivers State Gov­ern­ment House on Monday af­ter sign­ing the agree­ment with con­tac­tors.

In ad­di­tion, the pro­ject would cre­ate 1,200 di­rect jobs and 5,000 in­di­rect jobs.

Speak­ing at the cer­e­mony, Gov­er­nor Nye­som Wike ad­vised the con­trac­tors han­dling the projects not to com­pro­mise the agreed stan­dard.

Ibibia Wal­ter signed on be­half of the Rivers State gov­ern­ment, Chen Kan­gle for CGC Nige­ria Lim­ited, Yang Gengqi for Top In­ter­na­tional En­gi­neer­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, and Iskan­dar Taslakian signed for Mother­cat Lim­ited.

Gov­er­nor Wike urged the con­trac­tors to mo­bilise to site in prepa­ra­tion for the ex­pected pro­ject flag-off on Oc­to­ber 1, 2020, say­ing, “Let me warn, in Rivers State, we do not com­pro­mise with qual­ity of work viz-a-viz timely de­liv­ery of con­tracts.

“I shall be vis­it­ing all pro­ject sites unan­nounced, to mon­i­tor progress and com­pli­ance with spec­i­fi­ca­tion. I am re­quest­ing the African De­vel­op­ment Bank (AFDB) that will fi­nance the pro­ject to do so with 100 per­cent cost of net of taxes.

“The COVID-19 pan­demic pre­sented huge chal­lenges, as the ac­cru­able rev­enues both to Fed­eral Statu­tory Al­lo­ca­tion and In­ter­nally Gen­er­ated Rev­enue have dropped.

“The Com­mis­sioner of Wa­ter Re­sources and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment and the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Port Har­court Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion should en­gage AFDB with the view to get the Bank to fi­nance 100 per­cent of the cost of the pro­ject net of taxes.

“I am aware that the loan clos­ing date is April 2021. I am di­rect­ing the com­mis­sioner and the man­ag­ing di­rec­tor to sub­mit ap­plica

tion to the Fed­eral Min­istry of Fi­nance and AFDB to ex­tend the du­ra­tion of the loan by two years to en­able full im­ple­men­ta­tion of all com­po­nents of the ur­ban wa­ter sec­tor re­form.

“They should fur­ther en­gage AFDB with a view of restor­ing the works at Tran­sA­madi, Abu­loma, Woji and Ele­lenwo re­gret­tably can­celled by other de­vel­op­ment part­ners.”

The gov­er­nor as­sured that he would not hes­i­tate to fully im­ple­ment the PHWC re­struc­tur­ing and or­gan­i­sa­tional build-out re­port when ready, and pointed out that his ad­min­is­tra­tion had opened a new phase of com­mit­ment to re­po­si­tion wa­ter sup­ply ser­vices across the state.

He noted that through the pro­ject thou­sands of Rivers peo­ple would be en­gaged di­rectly and in­di­rectly through­out its life­span.

Com­mis­sioner for wa­ter re­sources and ru­ral de­vel­op­ment, Ta­muno­sisi Gogo-jaja, said the pro­ject would have four new de­vices reser­voirs lo­cated at Ru­muola, Diobu, Moscow Road and Borikiri in Port Har­court and Obio/ak­por.

The com­mis­sioner said there would be eight el­e­vated tanks with car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity of about 1000 to 1500 cu­bic litres of wa­ter and about 17 bore­holes in about six clus­ter ar­eas con­nected to wa­ter treat­ment plants.

The plan in the pre­vi­ous ad­min­is­tra­tion, which de­signed the pro­ject, was to com­mer­cialise the wa­ter scheme through me­tered wa­ter taps around the city.

The man­ag­ing di­rec­tor

of Port Har­court Wa­ter Cor­po­ra­tion, Ibibia Wal­ter, said his team worked as­sid­u­ously within eight months to se­cure the con­trac­tors trusted to ex­e­cute the pro­ject.

He thanked Gov­er­nor Wike for his com­mit­ment to en­sure that ru­ral dwellers ac­cess potable wa­ter.

Speak­ing for CGC Nige­ria Lim­ited, Chen Kan­gle, who ex­pressed grat­i­tude to the gov­er­nor for the trust in his com­pany to han­dle the projects, as­sured of timely de­liv­ery.

Yang Gengqi, who spoke for the Top In­ter­na­tional En­gi­neer­ing Cor­po­ra­tion, said they had been in Nige­ria since 2017, and was con­fi­dent to de­liver a qual­ity pro­ject.

For Mother­cat Lim­ited, Iskan­dar Taslakian pledged to en­gage in­dige­nous work­ers on their sites.

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