By Sule Aliyu, Bauchi
A substantial sum of over N900 million is being spent annually as operations costs by the Bauchi State government for the supply of potable water to residents of Bauchi metropolis and environs, the Managing Director of Bauchi Water and Sewerage Corporation, Engr. Aminu Aliyu Gital has said.
Gital who disclosed this in Bauchi at a Town Hall meeting between trade associations and the Water Corporation while making a presentation on the cost of water supply in Bauchi metropolis said the objective of the meeting was to sensitized water users in the metropolis on the need to pay their water rates towards complementing government’s effort for a sustainable, effective and efficient service delivery to the people.
Engr Gital said that the cost of treating and supplying potable water to the public are divided into two components of capital and operational costs.
“Capital cost is the cost that takes care of infrastructure, treatment plant, reservoirs, pipes vehicles, among others, while the operating cost involves cost of alum, soda ash, chlorine gas, chlorine powder, electricity, salaries and other miscellaneous expenses”, he explained.
Gital said that already government has shouldered the capital cost by providing the infrastructures and machineries for the treatment of the water.
Accordingly, the state policy on water and sanitation had clearly stated that “Operating cost should be borne by the customers through the payment of water rates”.
The managing director also explained that the corporation sent bills to customers on monthly bases to the tune of N20 Million and that the corporation hardly realizes N3 Million from the bills that were sent out.
“If you compare the over N80 million operations costs the corporations incurs monthly and the N3 million revenue it generates (that is on a good day), there is a gap of about N77 Million monthly”, he added.
The town hall meeting attracted participants from trade associations that include Carwash, Block makers, Bakers, Water Tankers, Public toilets operators, Sachets Water operators, Restaurant operators and Laundry operators.
According to some participants, the meeting had given them an insight into what the Corporation spent in providing water to the public, and assured that they will henceforth pay their water rates as at when due.
By Sule Aliyu, Bauchi