About N60 billion would be required to complete the construction of Adiyan Water Works, phase II, currently ongoing in Lagos.
The water project started many years ago, and has so far gulped billions of naira, is designed for 70 million gallons production capacity per day. It was conceived to further boost water production and supply in Nigeria’s economic nerve centre, which population is estimated at 23 million people, majority of whom depend on bottle/sachet water, boreholes and wells for their water needs.
Current production capacity of state-owned water corporation from its major water works, including Adiyan phase 1, Akute and Iju, among other water works scattered across the state, hovers around 300 million gallons, a far cry from the daily requirement of about 750 million gallons.
Challenged by this poor capacity, funding and increasing population, the government is presently discussing partnership with the private sector to raise the level of production and daily supply from the state-owned Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC). But this plan has drawn condemnation from a section of the society which equates it with privatisation of water, arguing that it would lead to exploitation of the citizens.
Babatunde Adejare, the state commissioner for the environment, who has ministerial supervising over the operations of the state water corporation, says the fear of exploitation is misplaced. According to Adejare, all the government intends to do is collaborate with the private sector through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, to boost production.
“Water production is not cheap. No one would have believed our population in Lagos would be over 20 million by this time. The state government is working hard to meet the water needs of the residents. We still have a deficit of 500 million gallons daily. To construct the 70 million gallons per day Adiyan Water phase II will cost the state N60 billion.
“The project is almost 70 percent complete. But don’t forget that this facility does not meet the state water need. There are other water projects the government is equally undertaking, including Igbo-Nla. All these will cost the state huge sums of money,” said Adejare.
Muminu Badmus, managing director of the state water corporation, said recently that the state government has approved the release of funds for the rehabilitation of 48 mini water works in different parts of the state to increase production and supply.
Areas to be directed impacted by the rehabilitation, according to Badmus, include Surulere, Onikan, Lekki, Badore, Ajangbadi, Ikeja, Ikate, Ikorodu, Epe, Victoria Island Annex, Bariga, Oworosoki, Ijora-Badia, Apapa, Iponri, Oshodi, Ikoyi, among others. He added that there is also ongoing rehabilitation exercise at major the waterworks- Iju, Adiyan and Akute intakes for efficient service delivery.
“As part of government’s renewed efforts to keep pace with the growth of water demand, Mosan-Okunola mini waterworks (2MDG) was currently commissioned, Ishasi waterworks has just been upgraded to produce 4 million gallons and currently supplying over 10 communities in Agbowa/Ikorodu area of the state,” said Badmus.