From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Water consumers in Benue State are owing the State Water Board over 1.5 billion naira as water rate between year 2011 and now.
Also, it has been revealed that the State government is owing electricity company the sum of 40 million naira as electricity bill spanning several years.
General Manager of the Benue State Water Board, Engr. Gideon Shenge as well as the Commissioner for Rural Development and Cooperative, Mr. Victor Ukaha who is supervising Commissioner in charge of the Ministry for Water Resources and Environment disclosed this in a chat with newsmen in Makurdi on Tuesday.
Engr. Shenge who noted that each water consumer is to pay the sum of 2,000 naira per month regretted that most of the defaulters are influential individuals and appointees of government in the State.
Engr. Shenge also listed the major challenges confronting the Board to include lack of power supply (as Power Holding have disconnected them for over two (2) months now), non supply of diesel due to shortage of funds and shortage of water treatment chemicals for purification.
He however, disclosed that the board generates between 500,000 naira and 1million naira monthly on sale of water to private and corporate organizations within the State.
“100 percent of the amount is remitted to the Benue Internal Revenue Services, BIRS and they in turn give us 75 percent for running of the board which is sometimes just 200,000 naira.
“We spend as much as 650,00 for repair and reticulation of water to four major areas of Makurdi town including Lobi-Kwararafa, two (2) areas in North bank and Katsina-Ala street.
“The old and new water works have a capacity for 100,000 cubic meter of water but we are dispensing 50,000 cubic metre daily due to the above listed challenges,” Shenge noted.