Workers of the Lagos State Water Corporation are up against the organisation’s management in Ijora over neglected infrastructure, unpaid salaries and government’s unkept promises.
The workers, who closed the entrance of the corporation as early as 8:00am on Thursday, December 10, 2020, sang and danced in front of the Ijora headquarters of the corporation, insisting the status quo was premeditated.
The striking workers, who are members of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), vowed that the strike and protest would continue until Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu fulfilled his promise to the workers.
The workers, via the AUPCTRE Secretary-General, Comrade Abiodun 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 salaries, reminded the government of a worker who committed suicide in one of the states in the middle belt over non-payment of three months’ 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 not honour its promise to provide potable water for its citizens and payment of salaries of staff who are committed to their work.
According to him, drinkable water is a right the citizens must enjoy from the government.
He disclosed that the Lagos State Water Corporation management was already owing workers the following debts:
- October and Nov 2020 salary – N250 million.
- Accrued bond as at 2007 (before contributory pension) – N643 million.
- Three months outstanding salary – N90 million.
- Over two years responsibility allowance – N98 million.
- Co-operatives deductions – N164.717 million.
- Pension fund deductions – N398 million (June 2011 – July 2015) (September 2019 – June 2020).
He revealed that the design capacity of LSWC facilities i.e. Waterworks is 210 million gallons per day (MGD), while the present production level is less than 45mgd i.e. 21.4% of capacity utilisation due to the lack of appropriate maintenance of infrastructure.
The unionist also advised the Lagos State Government to pay urgent attention on the workers’ plight.
Some of the placards the workers carried read:
- Enough is enough with the suffering in Lagos State Water Corporation
- Enough of deliberate and designed systemic collapse of the Lagos State Water Corporation operations.
- Enough of deliberate use of Lagos State Water Corporation as conduit pipe siphon intervention fund (loan or grants from both local and international organization).
- Enough of substandard rehabilitation, failed projects, and white elephant projects in Lagos State Water Corporation.
- Enough of deliberate and systemic imposition of hardship on workers of Lagos State Water Corporation and non-availability of staff bus.
- Enough of deliberate and systemic reduction of human capacity in Lagos State Water Corporation.
- Enough of delay in payment of salaries and non-payment of responsibility allowance