By Inyali Peter, Calabar
Cross born activist and a fierce critic of the Governor Ben Ayade’s administration, Comrade Ifere Paul has dragged the Managing Director of the State Water Board Limited, Dr. Godwin Igile to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) over alleged $200 million fraud.
In a letter dated April 6 and addressed to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ifere said the management of the water board loaned $200 million from the world bank for the purpose of enhancing the supply of clean and treated water but have failed to use the money for the purpose.
He noted that the investigation is necessary as the quality of water supplied in the state currently is below standard, unhygienic and has caused residents avoidable ailments.
The activist further alleged that apart from the alleged $200 million dollars, the MD also diverted N200 million which was meant for staff salaries and allowances to his personal account.
“It has become imperative that investigations be carried out by the EFCC into the activities of the Cross River State Water Board Limited on how the Board used the 200 Million Dollars loan granted to it by the World Bank.
“The money was sourced for by the Board for the upgrading of water board equipments in order to enhance the treatment, discharge, and the supply of water to Cross River State citizens. But at present, there is so much decay in the Cross River State Water Board Limited”, he said.
Ifere added that “Despite a two hundred million dollars’ loan, the supply of clean and safe drinking water in the State is a problem. The whole state has not had safe drinking water for the past three weeks. Even when water is supplied, the smell of the water is as poignant as a rotten egg.
“We have had pink water, red water, yellow, brown, dark blue, and a mixture of orange and black water supplied to our homes as drinking water”.
The activist said that, “apart from the sicknesses and shock suffered by residents, the board is also heartless to distribute exorbitant rates for residents to pay.
“The EFCC would also investigate the 10 Million Dollars budgeted by the board for manpower training. Staff of the water board were not sent out for training until the expiration of the training timelines but the money has suddenly disappeared from the agency’s accounts.
On the welfare of satff, he said that “Some of the unforetold hardship meted out to the residents is deliberately engineered by the over 600 casual staff hired by the managing director but have not been paid for over five to nine months now.
“According to verified information, the state government has released over 200 million naira to the water board to clear such outstanding bills but the managing director, diverted the money to his own personal accounts”.