The Oyo State government has maintained that no administration, after 1995, bought water drilling rig for the State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) except the present administration.
This restatement is against the backdrop of positions expressed on social media handles of former governor Adebayo Alao Akala that his administration procured 33 brand new borehole drilling machines and that the Governor Seyi Makinde administration was not stating the facts.
In a statement, on Thursday, state Chairman of RUWASSA, Mr Najeem Omirinde, held that Alao Akala never bought rigs for the state but rather used local government funds to buy rigs for each of the 33 local government areas in the state.
Omirinde said the rigs RUWASSA had been using in the state were those donated by UNICEF and Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) and purchased by the state government.
He described the rigs bought by the former governor for local government areas as substandard and ‘toy rigs’ that didn’t last six months before they become faulty.
Omirinde said the state government had ordered for rigs of a high standard as against substandard ones purchased by the Alao Akala administration for local government areas that could not drill 50 meters.
“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 appreciated the present administration under governor Seyi Makinde for ordering for a quality rig that he said could drill 100meters within 3 hours as against the ones 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,” Omirinde said.