By Vivian Onyebukwa
The National President, Association of Waterwell Drilling Rig Owners And Practitioners (AWDROP), Engr Michael Ale, has appealed to the Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, to reduce the plight of the people in accessing water in the State.
Ale, in a statement asked the governor to either withdraw or reduce the N30,000 charges paid before one is permitted to drill borehole in the State.
According to him, several Nigerians are left to their faith when it comes to water supply, especially the people of Oyo State. “The unfortunate scenario is the issue of taxes and the levies on citizen before they can access the natural resources graciously given by God, because government has failed in their responsibility to provide pipe borne water system. When permits are made by the law, they are made to serve as an instrument for safety and not for financial inducement”, Ale said.
He described the alleged law as outrageous which, will make life unbearable for the people of the state. He continued by saying that even in states where regulations works by the establishment of agency, nobody charges that amount of money in this hard time.
He, therefore, called on the governor to temper justice with mercy and withdraw such law if it has been passed, or made public, or reduce the amount drastically especially to citizen whose salary is just a take home and cannot even drill a well not to even decide on embarking on borehole project”.
Ale lamented the increase in the cost of diesel by two hundred percent, which has affected the cost of drilling boreholes and many Nigerian without access to safe drinking water has increased to 70 percent as against fifty five percent in 2020.
He described the situation as mind boggling as many sub national has abandoned water projects at the expense of road and other physical infrastructures which looks better and more acceptable to people.
Ale stated that even though the government is looking for a means of increasing revenue, which is a welcome development, nevertheless, they cannot at the expense of many people whose life may be threatened, deprive them of their right. “Governor Seyi Makinde through the House of Assembly, should first gazette this law, make it public, then sensitize the Oyo State indweller before implementation. In the most suitable condition Seyi Makinde should please call for withdrawal and repealing of this draconian law”, Ale submitted.