The Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission (NIWRMC), will partner with estate developers on provision of a central borehole system that will curb indiscriminate borehole drilling in the country.
Magashi Bashir, the Executive Director of the commission, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Tuesday in Abuja, that the commission was worried over the rate at which people were drilling boreholes, knowing that it had dire consequences.
Magashi said many areas risked earth tremors such as the one that occurred in Mpape, a suburb of the FCT, some years back.
According to him, many households are forced to rely on borehole drilling as a viable alternative to water access because of the inability of water corporations to provide potable water for the people.
“The commission cannot stop people from drilling boreholes in their houses, especially since it is private property, and that is why we have all these proliferation of boreholes everywhere.
“We had a problem in Mpape, there might be another problem that could happen around the Army Barracks (Mogadishu Barracks), where we have new estates.
“I was there some time ago and saw many boreholes, in every single house, this is not good. I think we need to be more organised.”
“If I drill a borehole in my house and the other person in the next house drills a borehole that is deeper than mine, he takes the water and I will not get anything.
“We will get the developers together and agree with them on a central borehole drilling system that will serve all houses, and then they pay government a certain amount.
On doubling the commission’s revenue, Magashi said the passage of the National Water Resources Bill would give the required backing that would enable the commission carry out its mandate.
He, however, clarified that bill was not meant to stop households from drilling boreholes, but that it should be done in a more organised manner.
According to him, the commission has given demand notices to 76 companies using raw bulk water, in pursuance of its enhanced revenue generation agenda to an expected income of N823 million.
He emphasised the need for exercising regulations oversight over water abstraction and water related activities, saying current regulations had led to the revalidation of 50 licenses for users of bulk water.
He said the commission would not relent in its push to see that the 10th Assembly passed the bill into law, so that they could without interference from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
“From the clearance we have gotten from the minister, we may have to take our bill out to see how to get it passed, and then still continue to pursue a general bill that includes the others.
“We will continue to push under the 10th Assembly to see how far we can go,” Magashi said.
By Tosin Kolade