28 May 2003

Nigeria: Governor Duke Commissions N11.6bn Water Scheme

Calabar — The N11.6 billion African Development Bank (ADB) assisted urban water scheme meant to supply pipe-borne water to Calabar and its environs and some towns in Cross River State would soon be commissioned by the state governor, Mr Donald Duke.

When commissioned, the project would alleviate the sufferings of the masses, who have been without public taps since the past 10 years.

Already, a test run of the water scheme have began in Calabar with water being pumped into public pipes, while the chairman, board of directors of the Cross River Water Board Limited, Mr Gershom Bassey, and the General Manager, Mr Nte Bassey-Ekarum, presented the first pipe-borne water from the test run to the governor.

Inspecting the water project, Duke congratulated all those who were involved in the process of making the dream a reality. He expressed delight that the people would have the opportunity of drinking good water again once the project was commissioned.

He described the development as a monumental investment while stating that the project when commissioned would restore hope to the people, especially residents of the state capital, Calabar who were currently depending on private and commercial borehole operators for their water needs.

The governor explained that the water scheme was one projecthe had put all his efforts into especially in ensuring that it kicked off in earnest.

Speaking later, the General Manager, Engr. Bassey-Ekanem, had explained that the project was conceived in the 1980s, but abandoned until 1998 due to lack of funds.

He disclosed further that the Duke administration on assumption of office took serious interest in the project, which prompted the state to pay its share of the counterpart sum of N700 million of the total sum of N11.6b of the project cost.

The General Manager warned members of the public not to make use of the water now until the test run which will last for about two weeks was over.

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