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AUPCTRE faults alleged plans to privatize water supply in Lagos

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MEMBERS of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), at the weekend opposed alleged plans by the Lagos State Government to privatise water supply within the metropolis.

    The union also urged members of the public to opposed the alleged proposal, adding that the situation may compound what it described as the global water supply crisis.

   In a statement signed by AUPCTRE President, Adelegan Solomon and General Secretary Yusuf Zambuk, the union said: “over a billion people today do not have safe water to drink. There is a global water crisis of epic proportions. Globally, national and locally, governments face a tremendous challenge to find the political will to deliver safe and clean water to their communities.”

   The statement lamented that today, the World Bank is allegedly promoting private water contracts to governments through  “Public Private Partnership (PPPs)”, pointing out that “the experience of the past 30 years shows that PPPs in the water sector fail all segments of society”.

  AUPCTRE said Lagos is among many cities where investment on water supplies is desperately needed, “There is no consensus on where the answer lies in private management, public sector or a combination of both”.

  The union added: “For the union and the general public, the answer still lies with public ownership of water in view of its importance. As we speak, more than 80 per cent  of Lagos piped water supplied are thought to be allegedly  stolen; only five per cent of people receive it in their houses, taps are often dry, sanitation is non-existent most of the metropolis and the hospitals are full of people suffering diarrhea and other water related diseases.

  “We are hereby putting our elected leaders and senior bureaucrats on notice that workers and our civil society allies will fight to block this privatization.

“But, we won’t stop there, we will continue our campaign to ensure that all levels of government deliver on their commitments and their obligations to all Nigerians, to implement the human right to water and sanitation, to invest our common resources in a transparent and corrupt free manner.

   “We condemn in strong terms the intention of Lagos State Government to go ahead with the planned privatization or commercialization of Lagos Water which in turn will further pauperize the down trodden people of Lagos. The union wishes to call on all well-meaning Lagosians, in particular and Nigerians in general to join and support the union in this noble struggle.”



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