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Union wants Lalong to repeal controversial water sector law

Governor Simon Lalong

The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) in Plateau State has called on Governor Simon Bako Lalong to repeal the section of the Water Sector law that privatizes water supply in Jos and environs.

The 8th House of Assembly had on May 31st passed the bill during its last sitting which was assented to by Governor Lalong last Monday. He appended his signature to the bill alongside three others – Plateau State Specialist Hospital bill, Plateau State Contributory Health Care Management Agency Bill and the Plateau State Energy Cooperation Bill.

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However, the union at a press conference led by the organising Secretary of AUPCTRE in Plateau State, Comrade Ambrose Kudu, asked the governor to send the law back to the 9th House of Assembly as soon as they are inaugurated or it would commence mobilisation for a street protest.

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Kudu described as unfortunate that despite having presented to the governor two separate protest letters, the House of Assembly hurriedly passed the law which was quickly assented to by the governor.

“You will wonder the desperation of the 8th Plateau State House of Assembly led by the Speaker, Hon. Joshua Madaki, at passing the bill during a sitting that a handful of members attended, and almost all of them non-returning members. What is more worrisome is the express assent given to the bill by the governor without further consultation,” he stated.

They stressed that privatisation of water would not only amount to betrayal of trust by the government of the state but would be immoral for the state government to subject the people to a dangerous experiment that has failed in other countries.

Daily Trust reports that the union had, alongside Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and CSOs, staged a protest on April 16 during a public hearing on the bill where they demanded that Article 3 subsection 1(p) of the bill that promotes public private partnership be expunged.

Our correspondent made efforts to reach the Acting Secretary to the State Government, Richard Tokma, but he did not answer his call or reply a text message sent to his phone.

 

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