The Taraba State government is planning to turn its water corporation into an independent, profit-making venture. The indication to this effect was given recently in Jalingo, the capital of the state, by Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku when a seven-member delegation of the Nairobi Water and Sewage Corporation paid him a courtesy visit. The visit was a follow-up to an earlier one made
The visit was a follow-up to an earlier one made to the company in Nairobi, Kenya by the governor late last year.
Speaking at the occasion, Ishaku said the visit to Nairobi was an eye opener for him. “In Nairobi, I saw that huge profits were being made from water management and I was impressed and I came back desirous to see our own water agency operate as a commercial enterprise like what I saw. That is what we are going to do.” He said what was required to achieve that was a turn-around in the attitude and thinking of the workers.
The government, he said, will be sending about 50 members of staff of the state water agency to Nairobi to be trained by the famous water company in that country. He expressed the hope that on their return to Taraba they would apply not just the technical knowledge acquired but the work ethics and attitude that are the secrets behind the success story of the Nairobi water giant.
Governor Ishaku noted that for the provision of water to be sustainable, it must be effectively managed noting that the era when people left the pipes running and the water is wasted was over because it costs a lot of money to harness water resources and treat it for domestic use. He said in Kenya, he saw an excellent water billing system that he would want to see replicated in Taraba. “I want a billing system that is systematic and fair arrived at in a manner that people can see and appreciate”, he noted.
Speaking earlier on their mission, Dr. Kennedy Omoke, leader of the Kenyan delegation, said they came to Taraba to see the effort the Taraba State government was making to ensure sustainable delivery of good water and “to see areas we can help to enhance that process.” He suggested a complete restructuring of the Taraba State Water Corporation so that it can think and operate efficiently and profitably.
Later, members of the delegation were conducted round on-going water projects sites in Jalingo by Governor Ishaku. Dr Omoke expressed satisfaction with the massive water infrastructure being built in the city describing them as a legacy which the people will continue to enjoy and appreciate for many decades after.
The Governor and the visiting Kenyan delegation were accompanied on the tour of the projects by the state Deputy Governor, Engineer Haruna Manu, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Anthony Jellason and members of the state Executive Council.