Workers of the Lagos State Water Corporation are protesting at their Ijora head office over poor infrastructure, unpaid salary and failure by the government to honor its promises.
The protesters are members of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE),
The angry workers, locked the entrance of the corporation as early as 7.30am on Thursday December 10, 2020, and were seen singing and dancing protest songs against the state government and the management of the corporation.
They vowed that the strike and protest would continue until the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, fulfilled his promise to the workers.
The workers, speaking through its (AUPCTRE) Secretary-General, Comrade Biodun Bakare, also condemned the government’s plan to privatise water in Lagos, stressing that water is the right of citizens.
Bakare, while lamenting the plight of the corporation workers, who were yet to be paid their October and November 2020 salary, reminded the government of a worker, who committed suicide in Benue State over non-payment of three-month salary.
He expressed worry over the decaying infrastructure of the water corporation, alleging that it was a deliberate effort by the government not to maintain them to justify plan to privatise the outfit.
Bakare wondered why the state government would continue to fail in its promises to provide good water for its citizens and payment of salary as promised during electioneering.
Said Bakare “drinkable water is a right the citizens must enjoy from the government and the government must be ready to fulfill promises made”.
He disclosed that the Lagos State Water Corporation management already owed workers the following debts:
1. October and Nov 2020 salary – N250m.
2. Accrued bond as at 2007 (before contributory pension) – N643m.
3. Three months outstanding salary – N90m.
4. Over two years responsibility allowance N98m.
5. Co-operatives deductions – N164.717m
6. Pension fund deductions – N398m (June 2011 – July 2015) (September 2019-June 2020).
The activist revealed that the design capacity of LSWC facilities ie Waterworkers is 210m gallons per day (MGD), while the present production level is less than 45mgd ie 21.4% of capacity utilization due to the lack of appropriate maintenance of infrastructure.
Bakere also advised the Lagos State government to pay urgent attention on the workers’ plight.
Some of the placards the workers carried read among others: Enough is enough with the suffering in Lagos State Water Corporation. 2. Enough of deliberate and designed systemic collapse of the Lagos State Water Corporation operations. 3. Enough of deliberate use of Lagos State Water Corporation as a conduit pipe siphon intervention fund (loan or grants from both local and international organizations). 4. Enough of substandard rehabilitation, failed projects, and white elephant projects in Lagos State Water Corporation. 5. Enough of the deliberate and systemic imposition of hardship on workers of Lagos State Water Corporation and non-availability of staff bus. 6. Enough of deliberate and systemic reduction of human capacity in Lagos State Water Corporation. 7. Enough of delay in payment of salaries and non-payment of responsibility allowance.