Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has been asked to initiate the process of immediately repealing the State Water law to preserve the existing harmony in the state.
In a communiqué issued today by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria, ERA/FoEN in collaboration with the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees(AUPCTRE) and the coalition of civil society groups, the state government was mandated to reject all forms of water privatization and commodification
The resolutions were offshoots of a one-day town hall meeting on water privatization at the Millennium Conference Centre , Jos, Plateau State, Tuesday.
The event was informed by the signing into law of the Plateau State Water Sector Bill by Governor Lalong despite the public opposition to its pro privatization provisions.
In his welcome address, AUPCTRE National President, Benjamin Anthony, harped on the need to hear from those most impacted and as such reiterates the people’s stand that Governor Lalong should immediately revoke the law and open discussions with the people on how to ensure that clean and safe water is available, adequate and affordable for all irrespective of their status.
The groups were at a Public Hearing on the same law in April to demand that its anti-people sections that literally open the doors to Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other models of ceding water to a few should be jettisoned.
Unfortunately, the lawmakers hastily passed the bill on the last day of their sitting.
The group therefore demand that the Plateau State Government fully uphold the human right to water as an obligation of the government, representing the people and integrate broad public participation in developing plans to achieve universal access to clean water
Noting that the government of Lalong should make adequate budgetary allocation for the Plateau State Water sector, the group further emphasized that government should commit to serve public interests, instead of giving up responsibility to privatizers.
While calling on the state government to look for another avenue to meet workers demand, the group insists that a committee on water parliament should be set up
Other demands include that the Nigerian water law be reviewed and the commencement of moves to organize at community, local and state levels to resist water privatization, including seeking international alliance to mount pressure on the Plateau state government to promote pro -people initiative.