Visionscape scandal: Stop PPP projects, Our Water Our Right Group advises Lagos govt

By Valentine Amanze

Our Water Our Right campaign group has again advised the Lagos State government to stop all Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects in the state, including that of the water sector.
The group also urged the Ambode-led government to embark on probe, including public hearing on the Visionscape scandal.
The Rights and Environmental advocate group made made the declaration at a press briefing in Lagos on Tuesday. It also condemned the way tax payers’ money were used irresponsibly by state government officials.
Deputy Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Akinbode Oluwafemi, who was spokesperson for the group, advised the Lagos State government to do the right thing rather than “consistently doing the wrong thing due to greed and getting wrong results”.
Oluwafemi said: “Since the time we launched the “Water, Our Right” campaign in 2015, we have been unambiguous in condemning Ambode’s wholesale adoption of the PPP model for tackling public service challenges.
“We have been bold in declaring that PPP is no other than “legalized sleaze” and you really need not go too far. We only need to re-examine the Lekki-Toll gate PPP failure, the failure in the now privatized power sector just to mention a few.
“We will continue agitating till we have clear statements from the Lagos government on its road-map to ensuring Lagos citizens enjoy their right to safe and abundant water within a democratically-controlled space”.
Recall that Lagos State House of Assembly recently revoked the Visionscape refuse management deal which Oluwafemi said “only moved Lagos citizens close to a health epidemic.”
Our water, Our Right group also charged Lagos state government to “review the sections of the Lagos Environment Law that paved the way for Visionscape to emerge as the sole refuse management firm in Lagos. Recovery of all monies that Visionscape may have “illegally” received since it started operations in 2017 and that all who have compromised their positions and public trust be made to face justice”.
Other speakers, Comrade Opaleye Taiwo (AUPCTRE), Lagos State, Comrade Biodun Bakare (AUPCTRE), State secretary, Lagos state, Comrade Vickie Onyekuru (African Women, Water Sanitization and Hygiene Network) - all noted that they would stop at nothing to ensure that Lagos State government is stopped from further PPP contract.
The group also warned the state government over victimisation of labour leaders in the state parastatals who are against the ongoing privatisation policy of the Ambode-led government.
It asked: “Why is it that the state government is not disclosing the cost of its ongoing projects?”

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