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On the 10th of March Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) organized a rally against the Nigerian state’s intention to privatize the water supply of the Lagos state. Akinbode Oluwafemi, director of Corporate Accountability Campaigns ERA/FoEN discusses the consequences if water supply was to be privatized in the Lagos state.
In October last year FoEN/ERA received information that the World Bank through International Finance Corporation (IFC) had secured an advisory role with the Lagos state government, pushing for water privatization in the Lagos State. ERA/FoEN has since then campaigned and rallied citizens, stake holders, and civil society organization in Nigeria to reject the idea of water privatization. Friends of the Earth Nigeria/ERA are saying no to water privatization: “we believe water is a right”. Akinbode emphasizes that in other developing countries privatization of water supply has failed: “it has only allowed corporations to take over our common resources”. Water privatization has often proved to lead to increased water prices while reducing the quality of water.
ERA/FoEN decided to hit the Lagos streets on the 10th of March: “we demonstrated to the Lagos state government our rejection to privatization of the water”. ERA/FoEN are mobilizing citizens and civil society to be able to put pressure on the government not only to abandon plans to privatize water but also to make appropriate budgetary allocation for building water infrastructure in the state.
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