Water has been identified as a vast and robust industry that incorporates numerous revenue generation opportunities.
The Special Adviser on Political, Legislative Affairs and Water Resources, Rt. Hon. (Barr.) Ekong Sampson made this estimation during a facility tour at the Akwa Ibom Water Company (AKWC) in the course of the week. “If entrepreneurs, companies and multinationals involved in other businesses would still find a way to explore market opportunities in the water industry, AKWC stand a great chance to be a major revenue earner in the State.” He posited.
According to him, water is key to survival, hence the AKWC is of utmost importance to the State. The concern of the present government of Akwa Ibom State under Mr. Udom Emmanuel about good water, in adequate quantity has informed the need to reposition the AKWC to function in line with the 5-point agenda of the administration.
Barrister Sampson charged the Management and staff of the Water Company to adopt the profit-oriented attitude that should characterise a company. These he reiterated must be bound by integrity, competence and result.
He challenged the management of the company on wealth creation, being an important aspect of the Governor Udom Emmanuel agenda, insisting that the company has capacity to produce the best quality of water in assorted packages for the large market of Akwa Ibom State and beyond. This he said could run alongside the reticulation function of the company and generate huge revenue for the State.
Ekong Sampson, who visited the Brook Street and Ifa Atai water facilities impromptu, said he was not so much interested in ceremonial receptions and protocols, but in ascertaining the true state of the company in terms of potentials for results. “I see a huge investment here, second to none in the State, take advantage of the monopoly you already have, create a brand and hit the market. That is what companies do.” Sampson said.
He tasked the AKWC management to set the corporate tone for a new mode of operations; staff should start working like company workers with profit generation as a driving force, then Government will complement in its own capacity.
The Honourable Special Adviser however assured that State Government will soon put in place, a viable Board, with substantive Managing Director but cautioned, in the meantime, against unnecessary politicking and engagement in leadership tussle. “Water is too vital a thing to play politics with. There should be clear insulation of the operations of the company from politics.” He warned.
The General Manager, Administration, Barr. Aniefiok Ukpe, who spoke on behalf of the company Management and staff, thanked the Special Adviser for the visit, describing it as an injection of new life into the company. He also appreciated the Governor Udom Emmanuel for sustaining the regular payment of staff salaries in the company, promise the readiness of the company to work with the new leadership under the Bureau.
Barrister Ukpe however lamented the high cost of power generation to run the facility, as most of the company’s operations required electricity. He also recounted the several challenges faced in adequate reticulation to include non-replacement underground channels that have distort due to road construction, describing it as present dilemma of previous good deeds.
Among several other members of staff who seized the opportunity to interact with the Honourable Special Adviser, the Company Secretary and Manager, Legal Services, Barr. Imaobong Effiong also appreciated the concern of the Governor and the new Bureau Boss in the operations of the AKWC. She therefore, on behalf of the staff, promised that with the new drive Ekong Sampson is taking, there would be improved attitude, to reflect the colours of the company which stand for quality and integrity.