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Keep Your Promise On Halting Water Privatisation, Group Tells Ambode
The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has congratulated the governor – elect in Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, on his victory at the just-concluded gubernatorial election in Lagos, urging him to live up to his electoral promises, particularly the immediate reversal of the planned privatisation of water in Lagos.
Ambode, the All Progressive Congress, APC, candidate, won the election held on April 11, beating his closest rival, Jimi Agbaje, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to clinch the governorship slot in one of the most keenly contested elections in Lagos State history.
In a statement issued in Lagos, ERA/FoEN said the emergence of Ambode is a manifestation of the wishes of the electorate who cast their votes in the hope that the governor-elect will sustain the enviable pace of development the state has enjoyed in the last 16 years of democratic rule.
ERA/FoEN’s director of corporate accountability & administration, Akinbode Oluwafemi said the new governor should formulate and execute projects that would alievate the sufferings of common Lagosians.
“We join Lagos residents in congratulating Ambode for the mandate he has received to steer the affairs of the state for the next four years.
We urge him at this point to rally all critical stakeholders to implement policies that will not only alleviate the sufferings of the people but also improve the revenue base of the state,” he said.
Oluwafemi reminded the governor-elect of his electoral promise while hosting critical stakeholders including workers in the water unions that he will not add to the burden of Lagosians through water privatisation.
“While we trust the governor-elect to push through in halting privatisation under the failed Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, we are deeply worried that the Lagos State Water Corporation (LSWC), with the support of the World Bank, is still pushing very hard for privatization of water which will disenfranchise millions of Lagos residents”
He stressed that despite widespread opposition to the PPP arrangement, the LSWC had now put out a bid for so-called contractors to commence a process which will also include pre-paid meters.
Oluwafemi noted that the PPP promoted by LSWC has failed in Nagpur, Manila and other cities of the world where the in-thing is now a take-back of privatized water corporations as was demonstrated in the divestment of Veolia from public water in Paris.
He called on the governor-elect to state his position on the issue of water privatization in Lagos state, urging him to oppose the water privatization scheme and rather strengthen the public water system for optimal performance.
“It’s time to work the talk by guaranteeing universal access to water by Lagos residents. We demand a halt to the dangerous PPP. Remunicipalisation is the way to go. There is no other alternative.” Oluwafemi insisted.