From Abdulrazaq Mungadi, Gombe
Gombe State Government says it is considering drastic measures to tackle what it describes as the deliberate refusal to pay water bills by most residents in the State capital and other environs.
The government also announced that a task force is underway to identify defaulters for necessary action. According to the State Commissioner for Water Resources Mr. Mijinyawa Yahaya, the task force when setup would work to ensure timely payment of monthly water bills.
Addressing newsmen shortly after Wednesday’s meeting of the state executive council meeting, the commissioner revealed that the task force was necessary because there was nothing to show for the N1 billion being spent on the operations and maintenance of the state water treatment plant supply to water to the state in terms of payments and revenue generation.
The commissioner disclosed that statistics indicate that revenue generation at Gombe State Water Corporation has always been between N1 million and N3 million which is over ten times more than the amount being expended by the Government to pump and supply the water
He said that the about N1 billion was for the operations and maintenance of the treatment plant and that the amount does not include the cost of power supply to the plant and payment of salaries to staff of the water cooperation as well as the cost of other charges.
“Like said before, we pay almost a billion naira for operations and maintenance, but when it comes to revenue generation from people that enjoy the services, it is extremely poor and the council is concern and worried that the situation must be addressed.
“If there are no changes in the near future they could be some drastic measures to ensure that the revenue is enhanced,” Mijinyawa said while adding that this was because with the economic crisis in place the state has no option other than to look inward and of course water agencies are one of the agencies that could generate revenue for the state.