Water billing: Lagos provides 32,000 meters to households

LWC Badmus 1

Lagos Water Corporation MD, Badmus

Lagos Water Corporation MD, Badmus

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

The Lagos Water Corporation, LWC, has provided 32,000 meters to households in the state as part of measures to ensure accurate billing for water consumption.

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, LWC, Engr. Muminu Badmus disclosed this on Thursday at an end of year press conference in Ijora area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

He said as part of the renewed efforts for Lagosians to have value for their money, pay for only the quantity of water consumed, and solve the problem of flat billing, the corporation introduced pre-paid meters to ensure actual water used by the consumers, and guarantee accurate billing.

“What this means is that if you are not supplied water for a particular period, your credit will be in your meter, just like what obtains in the Power Sector. It is our desire to meter every house in Lagos for better service delivery, but now we have commenced with the first phase, and metered 32,000 properties – pre-paid meters, 24,000; old meters, 6,000, and mechanical, 2,000.

“The areas include: Lekki, Victoria Island, Victoria Island Annex, Surulere, Itire, Iwaya and Yaba/Ebute Metta, Magodo, Omole, MKO Abiola garden Estate and Ikeja area of Lagos State. As soon as we get delivery of additional meters, other communities will be covered,” he said.

Badmus said one good thing about the metering system was that it was meant to protect the interest of customers, as they were now aware of how much government charged per cubic meter.

“For clarity, the rate stands as follows; Low density areas pay ₦200 per cubic meters equivalent to 1000 liter, High density areas pay ₦260 per cubic meter, while commercial users pay ₦350. It is indeed saddening to note that In spite of the fact that this is the cheapest rate you can find in any country, some of our customers have refused to pay for the water used, particularly customers who have mechanical meters in their houses.

“However, we need to advise our people to imbibe the culture of water conservation and use it wisely, that there is a global water scarcity threat, as countries of the world are working relentlessly to nip it in the bud before 2030. It is our desire in the State that before this time, we should have excess water based on the plans of the present administration,” he said.

Badmus also said that the government, through the LWC had also approved the construction of 100MGD  Igbo-Nla (Phase 1) Water Scheme to serve Epe corridor down to Victoria Island, Ibeju – Lekki, Badore, Igbo-Efon, Aja, Victoria Island, Onikan and other communities in the axis, saying that the project would be executed on Public-Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement.

“Let me place on record here that Public Private Partnership initiative is entirely different from privatization. If it is privatization, it is total divestment of assets, and the State does not have this type of arrangement in place. The Lagos State PPP model is the arrangement where the private investors will participate, and government will regulate and protect the interest of Lagosians, and this is not a profit-driven programme,” he explained.

He said Adiyan major Waterworks was currently supplying 70MGD and that as part of the State’s water facility expansion programmes, the government had embarked on the construction of Adiyan Phase II of 70MGD, to serve the western axis of the State, saying that when the reticulation is completed, it would serve additional three million residents of Lagos State.

“The ongoing rehabilitation exercise in the State now includes the major Waterworks of Iju and Akute intakes for effective service delivery to Lagosians. Presently, Imeke-Iworo, Surulere, Ishasi and Abule-Egba mini waterworks are due for commissioning. Other rehabilitation and expansion projects in different parts of Lagos involve replacement of pipes and mains expansion to boost water supply. Some of the benefiting communities include Surulere, Itire, Yaba/Ebute-Metta, Iwaya and Victoria Island,” Badmus added.

In reengineering and aligning billing and revenue collection, Badmus stated that the LWC had embarked on revamping its billing and collection system by improving on the software formerly used for the process.

This, in essence, he said, would provide the corporation with the ability to bill on scheduled days, and internally audit its accounts within the billing database, adding that this arose from the dissatisfaction associated with the almost defunct system of billing and revenue collection used by the Corporation, which hindered immediate updates of customer payments, added to the fact that it was not integrated with the meter management system which is of great importance to the organization’s operations.