Plumbers parade themselves as drillers, expert raises the alarm

*Advises Nigerians to demand operational licence before engaging drillers

The National President of Association of Waterwell Drilling Ring Owners and Practitioners, AWDROP, Mr. Michael Ale, has raised the alarm that plumbers pretending to be drillers have hijacked the trade of professional drilling in the country.

Ale warned that the unwholesome development poses health hazards to citizens’ well-being, as well as threatens environmental sanity.

Ale, a globally renowned water and development expert, said Nigerians needing professional water drilling should demand operational licences from anyone who claims to be a driller before they engage such a person.

He added that doing this would prevent them from being robbed by quacks and plumbers who are parading themselves as Master Borehole Drillers.

The AWDROP President made the remarks during the flag-off ceremony to commence the operations of the Ekiti State Water and Sanitation Regulatory Agency, EK-WASRA.

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Ale, who noted that the Ekiti State government had demonstrated keen interest in making available quality, affordable and clean water to the people of the state, lauded the political will of Governor Kayode Fayemi and his team.

He advised all to develop very keen interest in the activities of new agency, EK-WASRA, adding that the need for monitoring the activities of water and sanitation in any society is paramount for human and economic development.

Saying that water is life, Ale noted that “The metamorphosing of the Regulatory unit to an Agency was an act to empower the agency to perform its duty comprehensively without bias and intimidation.

“We enjoin all stakeholders and the Ekiti citizens to embrace the initiative as a means to protect the citizens and its environment.

“We have this concern about the need for the association, that is water drilling Association, to self-regulate its practices.

“We also enjoin the new agency to embrace partnership and collaboration rather than becoming a policing making Agency. Every operator in the drilling industry in Ekiti must be licensed to practice.”

The development guru, advised Nigerians never to shy away from asking the practitioners in water drilling field to tender their licences or evidence of their affiliations with professional water-drilling bodies, such as AWDROP before any drilling contract can be awarded.

His words: “Don’t patronise anybody who claimed to be a practitioner without a license or a permit to operate in that field.

“Many plumbers now present themselves as borehole drillers and many Nigerians are naive about who should do what.

“Why engage a plumber to drill a borehole? Borehole is a multi-dimensional and highly complex skill simplified by a trained professional.

“Borehole drilling is like performing a surgical operation. So why will anybody submit to a quack medical practitioners? Except out of ignorance or weakness.

“The borehole business is booming and these opportunities are created by the lack of regulation by states and the Federal Government, thus allowing many foreigners to make brisk business at the expense of the uninformed citizens.

“Claim your right and report any financial transaction or dealings to the Regulatory Agency within your state before it goes bad. This is the best time to invest in drilling business,” he advised.

Revealing that drilling business is a money-spinning business, Ale called on well-meaning Nigerians interested in investing their capital into the business, to be guided properly so they would not fall into fraudulent transactions, especially with fake drillers.

He disclosed that many foreign crooks are now parading themselves in this business as rig sellers, saying: “It is advisable that the interested Nigerians be informed of the foreigners’ sharp practices and report such dealings to our association and regulatory agency to avoid being swindled.”

Ale, also advised the Agency to go beyond financial regulation by getting concerned about the technical regulations.

He said: “Drilling equipment are very expensive and sensitive, hence, it must be regulated to make money and get good returns for the investor without destroying our environment.

“Don’t shy away from reporting any water-related business engagement and obtain your permit before drilling. Citizens must be armed with the extant laws guiding the regulatory operations.”

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