The Chairman, House Committee on Rural Development and Public Utilities, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Usoro Akpanusoh, has advocated for the engagement of only qualified hands in the borehole drilling industry in the State.
Dr. Akpanusoh, who is also the Member representing Esit Eket/Ibeno Constituency in the AKHA, made the call when the President and Executive Members of the Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria (BODAN), Akwa Ibom State Chapter, paid a courtesy visit on him in his office.
Dr. Akpanusoh noted that there is existence of many abandoned water projects across the state, while some boreholes have been poorly sunk. He went ahead to state that a lot of health problems have arisen due to poorly managed water- related issues.
The Committee Chairman said his Committee would, in partnership with relevant authorities, ensure that any pure water company operating illegally is shut down; just as non-professionals would be chased out of the borehole drilling industry.
Akpanusoh noted that His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel is very determined to give priority to the issues of water, as evidenced in his creation of a Ministry to tackle the problem.
He also lauded the Governor’s appointment of a tested technocrat in the person of Arc. Ime Ekpo to man the affairs of the Ministry.
Akpanusoh went ahead to laud the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, expressing confidence in his legislative prowess which will see the House of Assembly enact relevant laws that will better the lives of the citizenry.
While re-stating his pleasure over the visit and partnership with the Borehole Drillers Association, Akpanusoh informed of his intention to convene a stakeholders meeting with relevant bodies in the sector.
Earlier in his address, the Chairman, Borehole Drillers Association of Nigeria, AKS Chapter, Pastor Mfon Offiong, said the growing demand for portable water supply has been a major problem in the state and nation.
This need, he noted, has been met to an extent by borehole drilling, but lamented the high incidence of unprofessionalism witnessed in the industry.
He informed the Chairman of his Association’s plans to establish a borehole entrepreneurship village to serve as a rallying point for drillers in the State, as well as help reduce quackery.
Pastor Offiong appealed to the government to provide a data bank to draw experience and information from.
By Imaobong Simon