The Lagos State government has said it did not plan to privatise the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC), saying all its planning to do is to involve private sectors participation in building water treatment, a component that is said to be capital intensive.
Speaking at the monthly briefing of his ministry’s activities, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Samuel Adejare said government is in talk with a private investors who will construct new water treatment plant at Adiyan Phase 11.
According to Adejare, what people are misinterpreting to be privatisation of Lagos Water Corporation was the involvement of private investors who will provide the plant, saying the need for PPP initiative was informed by the cost of such plant that may not be feasible for government to undertake.
“Initial cost of the plant was put at N54b, but in view of the current economci reality, over N60b would be required and this is beyond what government can shoulder.
“This is just like 30 percent of our annual budget and it doesn’t make sense to commit such amount to a sub-sector of a social amenity when other sectors such as health, education, security and others are seeking attention.
“So, the most wise decision is to look for an investor who will then recoup his money by charging reasonable rate from consumers”, said Adejare, who argued that the N5 rate LWC is currently charging is unrealistic if quality water is expected to be provided.
The commissioner also hinted that the State Executive Council (EXCO) had approved the construction of another plant in Odomola area of Epe Division.
The plant, he said at completion would serve Victoria Island, Ibeju-Lekki axis, noting that water would be tapped from Osun River to serve the plant.
“The project doubles that of Adiyan and it will cost billions of naira. The project is also to be financed through PPP initiative”, he said.
On the general environmental issues, the Commissioner noted that government has pursued with vigour, its policy on cleaner and sustainable environment through the application of its all-year-round de-flooding programme and removal of all environmental infractions and nuisances across the state.
“Our men in the department of drainage services, the emergency flood abatement gangs and the drain ducks have been working round the clock to keep our drainage channels flowing.
“Consequently, over 25 additional collectors and conduit drains have been cleared, while seven new ones constructed and six channels desilted,” he announced, adding that 224 waste water haulage trucks had been registered for operation in year 2016.
Besides, Adejare added that refuse disposal in the metropolis has taking a new dimension by ensuring that every nooks and crannies received the attention of street sweepers and collection of refuse to the designated sites is “clinical”