Benjamin Babine, Abuja
The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE) has again rejected the privatisation of water in Nigeria saying doing that will spell doom for the country.
This was disclosed by the National President of AUPCTRE, Comrade Benjamin Anthony, who stressed that the government is showing signs of double standard in its bid to privitise water highlighting that it is the same government is against digging of borehole.
Comrade Anthony said the government has to think outside the box in revenue generation rather than adding burden to the citizenry who are wallowing in abject poverty due to the mismanagement of public funds by office holders.
He said: “For us in AUPCTRE, we also have our minimal challenges, especially the water bill and water privatisation issues. The national water bill as you know was smuggled back to the National Assembly and it has passed the second reading until we get to know and speak against the entire water bill together with our partners, Corporate Accountability Africa, and the support of some regional group representatives.
“We believe that bill is an anti-people bill, Nigeria is a developing nation, and you can’t introduce this kind of draconian laws while people are already in bondage in the country, a time people hardly get a square meal a day.
“This bill is a plan to also move us to total privatisation of water, and looking at this privatisation as a whole, and AUPCTRE unionise all the water boards in the country and is not up to 4 states that you can get up to 20% water supply to the people.
“You’ll hear the government saying that digging of boreholes is hazardous, but if you’re saying you want to discourage the sinking of boreholes and you’re talking of privatising water, then we are not doing ourselves good in this nation.”
Also speaking on IPPIS, the AUPCTRE Boss warned that the union cannot continue to shortchange with a platform government claimed its introduction was to fight corruption. He said the payment platform is not efficient and called on the authorities to address the challenges faced by workers over IPPIS.
“IPPIS has a problem, and every month workers keep complaining of the platform and because those who introduce it didn’t see anything wrong with it. We are tired of been shortchange every month, we want the government to do all it can to address the issue because we are losing money each month. The worst for our union is that our members’ check of dues was deducted and send to the union, we have written and if nothing is done, we would take legal action.”
On the year 2020, the union leaders said “2020 has been a challenging year to the world as a whole due to covid19 which brought a lot of setbacks even in the trade-union cycle, it has increased the number of industrial crises because people have stayed at home for some times, and people have to come back, especially the public service and the new protocol been introduced, these are some of the challenges workers have to face, and you know resumption was in phases and it also affected the economy. Up till now, there are workers that are yet to receive November salary,” he said.
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