Reviving Greater Lokoja Water Treatment: Commissioner Promises Permanent Solution as State Government Takes Action

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***Says all hands are on deck in making Greater Lokoja Water Treatment resume work

The Kogi State Commissioner for Water Resources, Engr. Yahaya MD Farouk has assured Kogites that the current administration, under the leadership of Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo and his Ministry are not sleeping over the scarcity of portable water in Lokoja and its environs.

The Commissioner disclosed that the governor, had given his strong political will to actualise the restoration, sooner than later.

Engr. Farouk gave the assurances during a press conference in his office on Friday in Lokoja, attributed the delay in getting the facility back on track to many factors.

The Commissioner,who described the Greater Lokoja Water Treatment as one of the best in Nigeria , added that it had the capacity to pump 10 million gallons of water per day with provision to expand that to 15 million gallons of water for the same day.

He, however, noted with regret that the October 2022 flooding in Lokoja submerged most of the vital equipment of the facility, including six electro mechanical equipment, the high lift pumps with huge cost, adding that the development brought the treatment and supply of potable water to a halt.

Engr. Faruk also told journalists that equipment needed to be replaced to put the facility back in optimal condition are very expensive and would require months for them to be produced.

He said the state government, in its avowed determination to restore water to Lokoja is presently considering three options in achieving such ambition.

According to him, the government is considering either to outrightly locate the site of the Greater Lokoja Water Treatment, the cost of which he disclosed, stands at between N120 billion and N150 billion, excluding reticulation.

The second option, he added was the possibility of relocating the two major flood prone sections of the facility at the cost of between N70 billion and N90 billion to execute.

According to the commissioner, the third option is the raising of the equipment of the facility above the flood level of 2022, pointing out that this dream project also runs into billions of naira.

Answering questions from journalists after the press conference, the commissioner disclosed that the state government intends to contact the Federal Ministry of Water, look into the possibility of Public Private Partnership, PPP, and state government financing to put the facility back on its foot to serve the purpose it was intended for.

Farouk said that while efforts are on for the restoration of potable water to residents, his ministry he explained , has embarked on the rehabilitation of the Old Lokoja Water Works, to supply healthy water to some areas among other interim measures pending when the Greater Lokoja Water Treatment would be back alive.

The Commissioner disclosed that the State Governor is having sleepless nights in ensuring that taps run, pointing out that rather than run to fix the noticed challenge, it has become imperative to look at solving the problem once and for all.

He mentioned that the project at inception was hurriedly handed over without putting into consideration the noticed challenge caused by climate change, said with the constant flooding of Lokoja since 2012, with the highest in 2022, it has become expedient to think long term solutions.

He said with the differential in foreign exchange when compared to when the project was constructed, the huge cost outlay calls for patience and understanding on the part of the citizens.

The Commissioner described Gov Ododo as one committed to the well-being of the people of the State, said since his assumption of office, no day passes, without the Governor giving matching orders to the Ministry officials in doing all that is humanly possible to providing water to the people.

He mentioned that the State Government is equally looking holistically in revamp all water facilities across the state, appreciated the patience and understanding thus far shown by the people.

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