As the world celebrates the world water day, a nongovernmental organization, Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERAFOEN) has asked Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos to address the problems of water shortage in the state for the overall benefit of the residents.
In the petition which was also signed by heads of many nongovernmental organizations and stakeholders forwarded to the governor on Thursday, March 22 ERAFOEN appealed to the government to stop its plan of privatizing the supply of water to residents of the state through the controversial Public-Private -Partnership (PPP)
The organization cited examples of countries that had encountered bad experiences and learned bitter lessons from experimenting the PPP and other modes of water privatization and had to opt out and re-municipalize water supply for their citizens.
The organization also noted that PPP prevents cities from making crucial progress towards real solutions to water access difficulties.
While noting that there is a documented proof that the Lagos state administration is in concession talks with Veolia, Metito, and Abengoa, transnational corporations which cannot be trusted with the job of supply of water in Nigeria because of their track record in infractions and corruption.
To tackle the problems of water supply in the state, ERA/FOEN demanded for the stoppage of the plan to concession of Lagos water infrastructure, an upturn of budgetary allocation to the water sector, the institution of Water Trust Fund to expand the public financing of the water sector and development of the political will to prioritize water for the people by investing in water infrastructure necessary to provide universal water access to improve the standard of living of the citizens.
In addition, the organization asked the state to eliminate all the remaining provisions in the new Lagos Environment Law that unbolts the door for privatization in the PPP form or any other, accept human right to water as an obligation of the government to the people and to reject contracts designed by or involving the IFC, which, according to the organization, operates to maximize private profit.