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Enugu sets to commercialize water sector

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The Chairman, Board of Directors and Management of the Enugu State Water Corporation, Mr Innocent Diyoke, has said that the corporation has concluded plan to commercialise the water sector in the state.

Diyoke, who spoke recently said the essence of going into commercial was to make money for the government and provide adequate and potable water to every home.

“We want to commercialise the sector because residents are willing to pay provided there is water. Our goal is to also become self-sufficient making as much as N100 million every month as proceeds from our various water schemes. That’s why we’re making serious efforts to ensure there’s water in every household in Enugu State.

“We want to rebrand and revamp the water corporation in Enugu State. We want to show that we can do business. Our target is that by the time the cooperation is where it’s supposed to be, it can now be self sustaining. 

“That means, the corporation will not be needing money from the government, rather, the corporation will be making money for the government; move our staff out from the civil service payment system and begin to pay them like a private sector that they are. Water corporation staff are on essential duties. There’s no reason why they should be receiving salaries as if they’re civil servants”, he said.

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In order to get the corporation’s commercialization plan and service delivery working, Diyoke, told our correspondent that the board had been granted the permission to employ needed staff.

He said, “Part of the problems in the water corporation is incapacity of inadequate staff. Many have been retired without replacement.

“So, when the board came and did a quick evaluation of staff capacity, we discovered that we needed to inject more staff particularly younger ones to be trained under the consultants that are working under the French Development Agency,  AFD project. The essence is that they can be trained under the job and take over when the consultants leave.

“We were looking for just under 100 people but we received over 6000 applications. We’re using merit to screen. We want to show that government can get things done right.

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“We’re also planning massive training for the new staff the moment we employ them to bring them up to the standard we want them to operate and give them private sector work ethics”.

The Board Chairman, however, disclosed that the corporation had received $50 million from ADF to tackle perennial water scarcity in the state.

Diyoke said “this funding is already in place and is being used to fund the Enugu Water Supply System, including the production centres. 

“As we speak, the consultant has already commenced work. He has already worked for one month. He has five months to conclude the workings and design and produce fine drawing and tender documents for rehabilitation and complete revamping of both Ajalli and Oji River pumping stations as well as the transmission lines from Oji to Ajalli to Enugu. This will involve laying 12 kilometers of 700 mm diameter pipelines.”

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