By Salawudeen Olawale
The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, on Wednesday expressed worry over the increasing rate of indiscriminate drilling of boreholes by quacks in the country.
Adamu said this at the 53rd Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigerian Society for Mining and Geosciences in Abuja.
The conference is entitled: “The Extractive Industry: imperatives for Wealth Creation and Employment Generation”.
He called on the members to show enough concern, just as he said the society had a lot to do in the water resources sector.
Adamu said it was time Nigeria sought ways to protect its surface and underground water resources effectively.
“It is getting out of hand. You find a situation whereby within three meters, households are drilling boreholes; people are not mindful of the interference.
“We are spending too much money, whereas, we can have maybe a single unit to serve people. I think it’s time we look at these issues.
“I think it is very important we do not exploit our ground water resources to a point where there will be nothing left for the future generation of this country,” he said.
The minister said the National Water Resources bill, approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), would soon be forwarded to the National Assembly.
According to him, the bill consists of a modelling regulation to monitor exploitation of ground water resources.
He said that the bill when passed, would ensure the setting up of a hydro-drilling industry in the country.
He said the lack of proper regulation in drilling activities had made it an all comers industry, thereby undermining activities of members of the society.
However, Prof. Olugbenga Okunlola, President, Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), sought for a collective integration and corporation between government, industry, academia and technical partners to support geosciences data collection.
This, Okunlola said, would help in the provision of pre-completion geosciences information to mining companies to support economically viable extraction processes.
He commended the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari on his emphasis on economic recovery and diversification in the solid mineral sector.
“This has been practically translated into viable increased funding for the major government institutions,” he said.