As part of efforts to ensure residents of Niger State have access to clean and healthy water, the state government is set to connect 14,000 new water lines for the supply of water.
This is as the state is targeting between N120million and N150million monthly revenue as soon as the new lines are connected.
This was made known in Minna, the state capital during the handing over of project documents to contractors and consultants that will handle the United States Agency International Development (USAID) water projects in the state.
Speaking during the handing over, Managing Director of Niger State Water and Sewage Corporation, Engr. Hassan Muhammad Tsadu said 14, 000 new lines are not just for individuals but it will include households and businesses which will translate into a revenue leap.
“Part of our reform is to move the water utility to self-sustaining entity and it is going to be a win-win situation. We are projecting in our 2021-2024 strategic plan which has just been approved by the board of directors to move this utility to a complete self-sustenance in terms of operational expenditure and the reform is to ensure that we remain a public-owned utility but running on business principles.
“We have targets we have to meet in terms of productions, revenue and non-revenue and it would mean huge water supply coverage and improve health outcome, better livelihood, better health and revenue for the state government.
“We are looking at huge amount of money. It is going to be more than triple of what we are generating now. By our target, we are looking at over N120million to N150 million monthly which is going to be a far cry from where we are now as we are presently under N20million monthly. We want to move quickly to N150million in other to eliminate all operational expenditure subvention that we get from government, and government would be able to deploy the resources to other sectors,” he said.
The project according to the State Commissioner for Water Resources and Dam Development, Alhaji Yusuf Suleiman, is in two phases and they are expected to be completed in a span of three months.
“The first phase is the disconnection of 2,200 of service lines from the tank that gives water to the reservoir which is been connected to the service line, individual and company lines. The other phase will involve a complete repackaging of piping which is a network of pipes into the area of about 9km,” he said.
He lamented that other lines connected to the tank are not given reservoirs attention in terms of water supply, adding that those other lines would be disconnected and another line would be created for them which will serve the reservoirs faster and efficiently.
The project would also ensure that those areas that are usually not getting water and those that don’t have water frequently would have water supply now and frequently while leakage of pipes here and there would be eliminated.
It would also involve bringing prepaid meters into all the areas with a District Metering Area (DMA) of 9km.
The Utility Support Fund, Director for Researcher Angle Institute International (E-Wash) programme in Nigeria, Mallam Abubakar Saabi, disclosed that they are mandated to support states water boards in five states of Niger, Delta, Abia, Taraba and Imo.
He added that Niger State is benefitting two slots because of its commitment and support to the programme, adding that the USAID is injecting over N6billion into the projects in all the five states.