The Oyo State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, RUWASSA, has defended its position that no administration since 1995 has bought water drilling rig till the present administration.
The RUWASSA Chairman, Engr. Najeem Omirinde asserted that only the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration deemed it fit to purchase a machine after the long period of time.
Omirinde, while speaking to newsmen, reaffirmed his position after a statement credited to former governor Alao Akala that some rigs were bought for the 33 local government areas in the State. Omirinde emphasised that Akala never bought rigs for the State, which he governed but used the local government money to buy for each local government.
He revealed that the rigs bought by the former governor were substandard, and called them ‘toy rigs’ that didn’t last six months before they developed fault, adding that the rigs RUWASSA has been using in the State were donated by UNICEF and Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA).
“Let’s put the record straight, governor Makinde has made history as the first governor since 1995 that has approved the purchase of a standard, modern rig for Oyo RUWASSA, I wish to repeat it, no State administration bought rig for RUWASSA till now.
“What they claimed former governor Akala bought were ‘toy rigs’, bought from the account of the local government for the 33 local government areas then.
“The rigs RUWASSA has been using were donated by UNICEF and JICA and I am happy to tell you that those rigs are currently undergoing repair so as to serve the purpose of providing portable water alongside the one that has been ordered for by the government.
“I wish to add that the rigs bought during Akala’s period were not certified to be of good quality by Oyo State RUWASSA that has the authority to do that, let the general public visit each local government council to see if any of those is still working, or available.”
Engr. Najeem Omirinde commended Governor Seyi Makinde for ordering for a quality rig that he said could drill 100meters within 3 hours in contrast to the one’s Akala bought for the local government areas in the past that he said could not drill 50 meters.
“What Akala bought for the 33 local government areas from their accounts could not last in a basement region like Oyo State, you can only manage such machine in a water-filled area like Lagos, here, the rig must be powerful to penetrate the rocky layer,” he implied.