By: Adedeji Fatimah
Newly appointed chairman of Water Corporation of Oyo State, Dr Adebayo Adepoju has been working so hard to put the organisation in good condition of service. In this interview with Nigerian Alert News, Dr Adepoju unveils his plans transform the corporation and make it standard for effective water generation and distribution across the state, vis avis change the culture of the corporation.
Can we meet you sir?
I am Dr. Adebayo Adepoju, the newly appointed Chairman of Water Corporation of Oyo State. I have been on the job for less than two weeks. At this point in our progress, we have had several meetings where we are looking at ways forward on how we can be more viable as a corporation and how we can be more useful to the citizens of the state.
Sir, what are your plans to improve the Water Corporation and supply of portable water across the state?
We have so many things on ground and I will start from what we are really thinking. Like I said, I am less than two weeks on the job but I am learning at a very fast rate, I am very happy to be here and I am glad the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde saw me worthy of being able to handle this position.
Some of the things we are looking at from what I have gathered, we have some problems and we have some things we have done very well and things we have not done very well. We are into the business of water production and distribution, and If we cannot supply water to the citizenry, there is no need to have a water corporation.
We are looking at problems at this point and we are looking at places where we can improve. One of the problems and hindrance we have is power supply as well as problems of old infrastructures.
So, we have several things we are looking at, and I would say within the next one year we should see some very significant differences both at our infrastructures and distribution.
We are going to partner with some foreign investors that will come in and help us to convert our power supply from regular IBEDC to hydro power so that we can be dependent on our Dam to power our infrastructure. I think that will be something that will work very well for us.
Also, we have problems with billings and all that, we are going to address the problems one by one by breaking Oyo State into district and address the problems district by district. And at the end of the day it is going to be a win win thing for water corporation of Oyo State, the government and the people.
By this, we will be able to produce water for the people which is what we desperate need in the state.
Can you tell us some of the problems you met on ground when you assumed office?
Like I said right now, the greatest problem we have is power. The ability to have steady power supply, we have the infrastructures in place, even though they are old, some of them still function very well.
Not having power to generate and distribute water is a problem. Our power is very epileptic. We have situation where we have between four and five hours of power supply in 24 hours. The equipment we use need very good source of power for us to be able to generate and distribute portable water to the people.
How do you intend to proffer a lasting solution to this situation?
The first thing we are thinking about in the interim before a move for a lasting solution is to stick with IBEDC pending when we get a lasting solution. I will be getting in touch with the commissioner for Energy to see what we can do together, and to see if we can get a direct line from the main source to Asejire on our water scheme. If we cannot get constant power, at least let’s maintain what we are getting right now.
A more lasting solution will be achieved when we are able to generate our own power. With the dams and hydro plant, we can generate our own power for our selves. We all have to come together with reasonable solution to solve our problem and move forward.
Sir, houses built nowadays don’t subscribe and connect with water corporation interns of water supply from your organisation, what’s your take on this?
That’s true, that’s also parts of the problem. You cannot really blame the people for not having trust in water supply from our organisation. It is our duty to earn the trust of the people. If the people know we are going to supply them with portable water 24 hours, they will have trust in us. We are heading to a situation where the people have to trust in us.
In doing that, we are going to look at working with the state House of Assembly to promulgates laws that can help us start the process where nobody will say we don’t have a meter. When people see that we can give them constant water supply, we will earn their trust, and with this it is going to be a win win situation, where they can rely on us and we can generate income into the state.
What’s your advise for people of the state?
Well, it is not really going to be an advice, I want to solicit for their support and tell them to please be patient with us. We are working diligently on this.
I want to assure them that the governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde cannot afford to fail, so, we cannot afford to fail as well. There are better things coming. It is going to be a significant improvement on water supply across the state. We will not rest until we get this done.
For about four to five years we have not had water in Beere – Oje and others, but in the last few days we now have water there. This is part of the things we have done. A few things are going on, we have some few thing in place, more importantly, we are trying to change the organisation culture, I think that will definitely help our people and help us as well.