It is difficult to say kudos to the current Governor of Kano State because of the story in the PM News, reproduced below, concerning the N5.6 billion that was reportedly spent on water supply within 11 months when one considers how much was spent on renovating fences around the Governor’s residence?
In appraising this story, it is necessary to consider how much is spent on building or renovating the Government House in Kano before one can actually praise Kano State. This is necessary when one considers a recent statement credited to Rtd. General Danjuma’s: “You hear talks about multimillion naira fences around government houses, what about the people?”
The statement of the Kano State Commissioner that the State spent “only N500 million” – over US$3 milion – on renovating the fence around the Government House, is still a considerable amount which tallies with the observation of Rtd. General Danjuma. When oncd considers that there are grants of under $1 million to state governments by foreign donors, it would become clear that spending this much money to “renovate” a fence is a waste of scarce resources.
Though one does not know Kano’s budget for this fiscal year and cannot therefore comment on how large the N5.6 billion is when compared to total State budget, one would like to know what other states of the Federation spends on water supply in relation to their total budgets. The percentage of state budget spent on water supply is a good indication of a state’s commitment to improving water supply.
The magnitude of monthly revenue (N82Millon) generated by the state reported in the newspaper is higher than the reported revenues generated by the Water Board in most states.
The reform process in water supply focuses on state water agencies generating enough funds so that they can be self-sufficient and be able to provide better services. It is likely Kano would be able to do this easily considering the size of its Water Board monthly generated revenue. And on the basis of this and the percentage of the State’s budget spent on water supply, one may be able to congratulate successive Kano State governments as the current administration is merely building on existing foundation.
Kano Spends N5.6b On Water Supply
Maduabuchi Nmeribeh , PM News May 5, 2012.
Kano state government, northwest Nigeria, has spent N5.6 billion to improve water supply within 11 months.
The Commissioner for Water Resources, Alhaji Bala Mohammed Gwagwaruwa said the fund was used for maintenance services in the existing Water Works across the state, particularly, the Challawa and Tamburawa Water Treatment Plants.
He decried the spate of abandoned projects inherited from the immediate past administration, noting that the current administration was committed to ensuring adequate water supply in the state.
“It is pertinent to say that way back before we took over the mantle of leadership, the situation at the water intakes was very pathetic and disheartening to the extent that only N0.3 water works at Challawa was partially functioning. No. 1 and 2 were not working.
“Additionally, the power situation at Challawa was also frustrating due to the fact that out of the 6 generating sets, only two were functioning. This seriously affected the water supply capacity of the Water Works,” he noted.
He said the bulk of the expenditure was used for maintenance services at the Challawa Water Works and Tamburawa Water Plant, pointing out that the Ministry also carried out comprehensive laying of pipes to meet the target of pumping over 350 million litres of water to Kano citizens before 2015.
He further noted that the projects carried out by the Ministry within the period under review include, rehabilitation of number six water intake, sand bagging of the coffer dam, procurement and installation of six KJI pumps to supply energy to two Water Works.
Apart from procuring generating sets to power the Water Works for adequate water supply to the state following the epileptic power supply by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the Commissioner said the Ministry also repaired pneumatic system for the rapid sand filters and activation of surge tanks for the high lift pumping station at the water plants.
According to him, the previous administration under the state Water Board generated N32 million monthly as revenue, “while within eight months of Kwankwaso’s administration, we are able to generate N82 million as revenue on monthly basis.”
He also stated that the Ministry absorbed about 1000 applicants as casual staff on the payroll of the Water Board, “and I must tell you that this has not only improved working ability in the Board but has also reduced unemployment.”
He urged the people of the state to endeavour to pay their water bills as at when due in order to complement the state government’s desire to ensure adequate and steady water supply to all the nooks and crannies of the state.