Lagos shortlists firms for water privatisation
On the heels of protest by environmental and rights advocacy groups in Lagos, the authorities have shortlisted four companies for its Public Private Partnership (PPP) model being initiated in the water sector.
Managing Director, Lagos Water Corporation, Muminu Badmus, an engineer, who disclosed this in Ijora, said none of the companies has yet been awarded the contract.
According to him, Public Private Partnership (PPP) model that it was initiating in the water sector was still at bidding stage.
He said reports that the state had awarded water privatization contract to a discredited company is false, stressing that such insinuations were at best preemptive as government had only shortlisted a number of reputable companies, none of which was yet to have the contract.
Badmus explained that the Lagos Water Corporation had publicly advertised an Expression of Interest (EOI) which attracted seven local and international firms, out of which four firms were shortlisted following a rigorous and transparent process.
He assured Lagosians that the Lagos State Government would continue to work in their interest in the bid to promote their wellbeing, adding that this was the main reason why the Akinwunmi Ambode Administration had prioritised provision of potable water to the people by investing in water facilities as evidenced by the increase of water supply to 220Million Gallons per Day (MGD) to rapidly bridge supply gap.
Badmus stated that the exponential increase in population has continued to push the water supply need of Lagos State to 570MGD, leaving a gap of over 300MGD, while for the same demographic reason, the state’s resources faced pressure from other critical areas.
“Globally, attention is being shifted to the PPP arrangement to provide infrastructure for the people as government can no longer shoulder the responsibility alone” he said.
He said that what the government was working towards was ultimately a PPP arrangement and not outright withdrawal, adding that government was midwifing an arrangement that would ensure the injection of both public and private funds and expertise to drive seamless provision of potable water to the teeming population of Lagosians.
He assured Lagosians that, as the ultimately beneficiaries, they would have cause to rejoice at the outcome of the ongoing process which not only promise to evolve an effective and enduring solution to the water supply needs of Lagosians, but also bring about a model for the country and the entire West Africa sub-region.
The Nigeria Labour Congress and some of its affiliate organisations including the Amalgamated Union of Public Services; Joint Action Front; as well other groups like the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) had during the World Water Day written to the government to consider its actions in the water sector to avert further protests.
“The responsibility of the government is to provide social amenities and water is paramount. Without water, there is no life and we need to remind our governor that his duty is to provide potable water for the people and not privatisation of water,” they said.
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