The Lagos State government has been asked to reject all forms of corporate control of water and privatisation of water services, including through the so-called “public-private partnerships,” with a call on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration to mobilise enough resources needed to address the infrastructural decay which had brought water production to record low at the public waterworks in a state of over 24 million people.
This much was said by Civil society and labour activist groups under the Our Water, Our Right movement. The movement includes Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), and the Joint Action Front (JAF), among others.
The groups made the call in a petition to the Lagos State Government through the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Tunji Bello after a protest march to mark the commencement of the Africa Week of Action Against Water Privatisation which is billed for 11-15 October 2021.
The protest march which culminated in the delivery of the petition started at the Marwa Gardens with activists chanting solidarity songs and displaying placards with inscriptions such as “Water is not Deal”, “World Bank Stop Pushing Water Privatisation or PPP on Africa”, “World Bank, Take your hands off our water”, etc.
Lagos State Secretary of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Abiodun Bakare told The New Diplomat that water production at the public waterworks owned by the Lagos government has dropped to 10% of their combined installed capacity.
“If I’m to access the level of production at Lagos water works in terms of percentage, it is below 10%. I am saying it categorically, it is not interesting, it is not impressive.” Bakare said.