N30,000 permit for borehole drilling, anti-people, policy expert tells Oyo govt

An expert in development policies, and National President of the Association of Water and Borehole Drillers (AWDROP), Mr Micheal Ale has advised the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde, against imposing the newly introduced policy of N30,000 permit for borehole drilling in the state, saying it will worsen the poverty stricken condition of the people.

Ale

 

Ale said that the rising costs of living ocassioned by skyrocketing prices of diesel, gas, fuel and others is already making life terribly difficult for the people and they do not need any other hostile and stifling policy to worsen the already bad situation.

 

Urging the state government to rescind on its decision, Ale said:”
It is no longer news that about 93 million Nigerians will go into poverty line as published by the world bank 2022, as the current energy crises had heated up the life bearing capacity of many Nigerians.

 

“The cost of diesel has gone up by two hundred percent which had affected the cost of drilling boreholes and many Nigerian without access to safe drinking water had increased to seventy percent as against fifty five percent in 2020, he said.

 

Ale advised strongly that the government ought to encourage the people to drill their boreholes in their quest for water, as many sub- nationals have abandoned water projects at the expense of roads and other physical infrastructures which appear better and more acceptable to people. He added that this disparaging scenario has become really worrisome and mind boggling, hence any government’s hostile policy on borehole drilling will have very adverse effect on the well-being of citizens.

 

Explaining further, he said: “Several Nigerians are left to their fate when it comes to water supply, especially the good people of Oyo state in the south western part of the country.

 

“The unfortunate scenario is the issue of taxes and the levies on citizens before they can assess the natural resources graciously given by God, because government has failed in their responsibility to provide pipe borne water system.

 

“When permits are made by the law, they are made to serve as an instrument for safety and not for financial inducement. The Oyo state Ministry of Environment and Natural resources through the respective consultants, have perfected a means to make life unbearable for the citizens through their draconian law, which speculated that before anybody can draw water from underground through borehole drilling, a sum of N30,000 must be paid. This is outrageous and will make life unbearable for the good people of the state.

 

” Even in states where regulations work by the establishment of agencies, nobody charges that amount of money in this hard time, this is a call to the Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde to temper justice with mercy and withdraw such law if it has been passed and/or made public or reduce the amount drastically especially to citizen whose salary is just a take-home pay and cannot even drill a well not to even decide on embarking on borehole project.

 

“Oyo State has the highest number of drilling rigs in Nigeria, numbering to 109, hence, the need to regulate drilling operation is inevitable, but this law should not be seen as a means of making money for the government at all cost.

 

“Yes the Government is looking for a mean of increasing revenue which is a welcome development, nevertheless, we cannot at the expense of many people whose life may be threatened, deprive them of their right.

 

“109 rigs doing two jobs per day and collecting permit from their clients, will amount to about N6 million revenue daily for the government of Oyo State. This is very attractive to any government but should not be seen a means to witch-hunt any citizen with their right to abstract water when such privilege has been deprived.

 

“Governor Seyi Makinde through the state’s House of Assembly should first gazette this law, make it public and then sensitize the Oyo State people before implementing it. In the most suitable condition Engr Seyi Makinde should please call for withdrawal and repealing of this draconian law,” Ale submitted.

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