Lagos State Government has declared that it has not privatised water supply, neither has it awarded water privatisation contract to any organisation, saying that the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model initiated in the water sector was still at bidding stage.
The Managing Director, Lagos Water Corporation – Engr. Muminu Badmus made this known on Thursday at Ijora while debunking some online media reports that the State government had awarded water privatisation contract to a discredited company, stressing that such insinuations were at best preemptive as the government had only shortlisted a number of reputable companies, none of which was yet to get the contract.
He 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.
The Managing Director assured Lagosians that the State Government would continue to work in their interest by promoting wellbeing, prioritising the provision of potable water and investing in water facilities as evidenced by the increase of water supply to 220Million Gallons per Day (MGD) to rapidly bridge supply gap.
Engr. 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 the government can no longer shoulder the responsibility alone”, he said.
He said the government was ultimately working towards a PPP arrangement and not outright withdrawal, adding that government intends to midwife an arrangement that would ensure the injection of both public and private funds as well as the expertise to drive a seamless provision of potable water to the teeming populace.
Badmus said Lagosians, as the ultimate beneficiaries, would have cause to rejoice at the outcome of the ongoing process which will not only evolve an effective and enduring solution to the water supply needs of residents butalso bring about a model for the country and the entire West Africa sub-region.