The Acting Managing Director, Cross River Water Board Limited (CRSWBL), Dr (Barr.) Stephen Odey has charged all contractors executing projects in the Board in the areas of rehabilitation of treatment plant, house connection and supply of motorcycles for field officers, to put more effort in order to speed up execution process and make for a more efficient system. He gave this charge in a meeting with contractors, held recently at the Board.
Dr Odey said the meeting which was held on instruction of the Governor is important in order to know the situation report, factors hampering the progress of projects and to chart a way forward. He added that contractors have been paid in full and therefore have no reason to stall the execution of projects.
According to him “I want to state categorically clear that you have not taken the right step in doing your contract. So what we are trying to do now is to set the record straight and know that the right thing is done, the reason is that we want to be straight and we want to have it on record that you have done the job we paid you for. That is why the governor has asked me to summon you for this meeting.”
He continued “The step that was taken before I came into this board was a very wrong one, I will not pay you if you have not executed your contract, but in this case you were completely paid. Everybody must follow due process, you are seeing how a lot of people are being arrested for lack of due process, it is a government contract not a personal contract, so you have to complete these jobs in record time to enable me tidy our records so that tomorrow when I am asked, I will be able to explain.”
While stressing that water was a “key priority” Dr Odey assured of the governor’s commitment in ensuring Cross riverians have clean and stable water supply. He said Governor Ayade is very passionate and committed to this cause.
Speaking on the supply of 40 motorbikes by GupsJ and Sons Company, he expressed his disappointment with the slow pace of the company in executing the Job, stressing that, the board was in dire need of bikes in order to aid mobility of field workers on revenue drive. He further directed that the company complete the supply of bikes and accessories within one month.
In his words “we ordered for 40 motorbikes, 20 have been supplied, 20 are still pending. When I saw the report that your company has been paid in full and you are yet to supply the remaining 20 bikes I was angry. We are embarking on serious revenue drive we need those bikes for our staff to move around, we were in Ugep-Ediba and Okpoma stations where they requested for this bike and we need to give it to them. I have directed that you be allowed access to the first batch of bikes you supplied, we give you one week to fast track the registration process and we are giving you one month to deliver the remaining 20 motor bikes and its accessories,” He emphasized.
Speaking on the rehabilitation of the treatment plant by the Contractor pianimpianti, the Director of Production Joseph Udo said the delay in rehabilitating the treatment plant has affected the quality of water produced.
“because of the time it has taken you to execute your contract, the water quality is becoming very bad, because the filtration media have thinned out. As we speak to you now we are having a lot of issues with our customers over that, we don’t have any filtration again and that is something you should have done during the first three weeks of executing your contract,” he said.
Responding, the C.E.O pianimpianti, kingsley Bassey blamed part of the delay in executing the contract on having to import materials. He said in order to ensure quality work his company only uses patent parts directly from the factory.
He said “We cannot do what we can’t defend it won’t say well about our image. 75 percent of all treatment plants in Nigeria are installed by pianimpianti, and all our plants are patent. You cannot go directly to the manufacturers and ask them to give you those parts they will not give it to you, they will refer you to us.”
He continued “Therefore when we were given this contract we went back to our manufacturers and they told us we have to join the queue. They said these parts are old parts, we have configured our factory to produce new parts so for us to produce your parts we have to finish our old order and then we can configure the factory again to produce your parts. Its either you wait or you go elsewhere, so we had to wait if we want quality parts, because if you fabricate it as other contractors do it won’t last.”
On the part of Chafel Ventures, the Company in charge of 5,000 house connection and Pipe-line extension in Calabar, Akamkpa, Ugep-Ediba, Ogoja and Obudu, the CEO, Donald Pascal said the company is in the last phase of the project, with over 3000 meters already installed.
“We have been progressing on a bit by bit basis as Water Board gives us information, if you look at the contract agreement there are supposed to be 5000 house connections in all and we are supposed to lay pipes covering approximately 8 kilometers. So far the pipes that we have laid are approximately 6.1kilometers. For the house connection we had a lot of challenges at the initial stage getting meters from abroad, but as we speak all our meters are with us, we have been able to give the people working on the field a total of 4100 meters and about 998 are within the Water Board store, over 3000 meters have been installed. We are in the last phase of completing our project, what is left is the final installation of the remaining meters and to get the GPS coordinate for each house where a meter has been installed . So once we have GPS coordinate we would be able to submit the report, we are using a GPS that also captures photograph. So we are not only going to give you coordinates and names, we are going to give you photographs of locations of those houses,” he said.
Upon completion the house connection and pipe-line extension will ensure that more Cross Riverians enjoy water supply.