On Monday Rivers State Government signed contracts for the renewal and upgrading of water supply for Obio/Akpor Local Government Areas and Port Harcourt.
The task which will upgrade 496 kilometres of pipeline will produce 330,000 cubic meters of drinkable water per day and is expected to generate 1,200 direct jobs and 5,000 indirect jobs.
The task is important because the state has for long worn the unenviable toga of unable to provide drinkable water for the state capital notwithstanding existing huge water facilities which have been neglected for a long time.
The introduction of thousands of direct and indirect jobs will also gratify the hearts of the state government and the teaming unemployed population as a recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) rated the state as one of the highest in unemployment rates.
Speaking at the contract signing ceremony, state governor, Nyesom Wike, advised the contractors handling the projects not to compromise on the agreed standard.
He urged the contractors to mobilise to site preparatory for the expected project flag-off on the 1st of October, 2020 saying; “Let me warn, in Rivers State, we do not compromise with quality of work viz-a-viz timely delivery of contracts”.
Wike added; “I shall be visiting all project sites unannounced, to monitor progress and compliance with specification. “I am requesting the African Development Bank (AFDB) that will finance the project to do so with 100 per cent cost of net of taxes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented huge challenges, as the accruable revenues both to Federal Statutory Allocation and Internally Generated Revenue has dropped.
“The Commissioner of Water Resources and Rural Development and the Managing Director of Port Harcourt Water Corporation should engage AFDB with the view to get the Bank to finance 100 per cent of the cost of the project net of taxes.
“I am aware that the loan closing date is April 2021. I am directing the commissioner and the managing director to submit an application to the Federal Ministry of Finance and AFDB to extend the duration of the loan by two years to enable full implementation of all components of the urban water sector reform.
“They should further engage AFDB with a view of restoring the works at Trans-Amadi, Abuloma, Woji and Elelenwo regrettably cancelled by other Development Partners”.
The Governor assured that he would not hesitate to fully implement the PHWC restructuring and organisational build-out report when it is ready, pointing out that his administration has opened a new phase of commitment to reposition water supply services across the state.
He noted that through the project thousands of Rivers people would be engaged directly and indirectly throughout the life span of the project.
Commissioner for Water Resources and Rural Development, Dr. Tamunosisi Gogo-Jaja said the project would have four new devices reservoirs located at Rumuola, Diobu, Moscow and Borikiri in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor.
The Commissioner said there would be eight elevated tanks with carrying capacity of about 1000 to 1500 cubic meters of water and about 17 boreholes in about six cluster areas connected to water treatment plants.
The Managing Director of Port Harcourt Water Corporation, Chief Ibibia Walter, said his team worked assiduously within eight months to secure the contractors trusted to execute the project.
He thanked Governor Wike for his commitment to ensuring that rural dwellers access potable water in the State.
Speaking for CGC Nigeria limited, Chen Kangle who expressed gratitude to the governor for the trust in his company to handle the projects, assured of timely delivery.
Yang Gengqi who spoke for the Top International Engineering Corporation said they have been in Nigeria since 2017 and are confident to deliver a quality project.
For Mothercat Limited, Iskandar Taslakian pledged to engage indigenous workers on their sites.
Chief Ibibia Walter signed on behalf of the Rivers Govt, Chen Kangle for CGC Nigeria limited, Yang Gengqi for Top International Engineering Corporation and Iskandar Taslakian signed for Mothercat Limited