Abuja – The Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has presented some water equipment and two 4WD Hilux vehicles to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Water Board, valued at 421, 000 US dollars (N82.9 million).
Mr Hirotaka Nakamura, JICA Chief Representative in Nigeria, who made the presentation in Abuja on Wednesday, said the equipment was meant to address challenges being faced by the FCT board.
JICA’s representative added that the equipment would also help to boost water supply to the residents of the territory.
According to him, JICA’s findings indicate a conservative Non-Revenue Water (NRW) of about 42 per cent and a bill collection efficiency of 35 per cent affecting water supply in the nation’s capital.
‘’This event is a great milestone for the ongoing project for reduction of NRW in the FCT being supported by JICA.
“In a simple term, NRW is the most common challenge in the efficiency of the water company.
“It is defined as the difference between the quantities of water supplied to a network and the metered, billed, and paid for water by the customers,” he said.
Nakamura stated further that the effect of such challenge had always resulted in wastage of water due to leakages from the pipes and administrative losses due to illegal connections and under-registration of water metres.
He said JICA was aware of the challenge the FCT water board faced in its 16 water services areas within Abuja.
He said that the agency had indicated interest to assist the board in its plan to further serve the residents much better.
“In order to assist in such plan, JICA decides to provide ultrasonic water flow metres, leak detectors, pipe detectors, test metres, data loggers, including two 4WD vehicles worth total of 421, 000 US dollars,‘’ he said.
Also, Mr John Chukwu, Permanent Secretary FCT, said the donation by JICA was essential due to wastage of water, thereby reducing quantity of water supply to the residents.
“I must say that this project has come on stream at a most convenient time when emphasis is on the prudent conduct of government business.
Represented by Alhaji Hudu Bello, Director FCT Water Board, Chukwu said the overall goal of the project was to reduce the level of NRW in the services area.
The permanent secretary added that JICA’s initiative was essentially translated to control wastage, loss of government revenue and improve water supply services to the people.
“We will, therefore, like to express our profound appreciation to the government of Japan through JICA that has made this project a reality.
“JICA is not only providing support to the water board, but to the FCT administration and the government of Nigeria, “ he said.
He urged the water board officials to make judicious use of the equipment.
Chukwu said that the NRW project, which began in October 2014, has been going on successfully.
“We believe that at the completion of the project, we will be able to have more revenue because we will have more coverage and then the capacity of our staff will be enhanced, “ he said. (NAN)