The Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong and his Bauchi state counterpart, Bala Muhammed have been cautioned to drop their privatisation agenda in the water sector or face massive protest and outright resistance from the people.
They warned the governors to stand with the people and open fresh discussions on how to ensure adequate provision for clean, affordable and safe water for all citizens in their respective states.
Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and other affiliate pro-democracy unions made this call at a stakeholders’ engagements in both states.
In Plateau State, Governor Lalong was specifically asked to revoke the Plateau Water Sector Law which he signed on June 4, while his Bauchi State counterpart, Governor Bala Muhammed was equally asked to jettison the Bauchi Urban Water Sector Law, which the groups say, contains anti-people provisions including Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangements set to commence in the year 2020.
At a stakeholder dialogue in Jos, the Plateau State capital, National President of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), Comrade Benjamin Anthony said that the union was armed with ample evidence that there were reports of rate hikes, poor quality services, shut-offs of the most vulnerable people in virtually all cities where the model planned for Plateau was experimented, adding that the proposal erodes the universal access to water that the United Nations (UN) advocates.
Head of Media & Campaigns of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Philip Jakpor, spoke on the dangers of water privatization, revealing that privatisation fails mostly because the World Bank and governments promote the lies that the public sector is corrupt and cannot deliver.