It’s a new beginning for the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Lagos Chapter as it wound up its successful State Administrative Council elections.
Congratulating the congress, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) described the outcome as a reflection of the wishes of majority of the members of the union in the state.
The State Administrative Elections held on April 25, 2019 were adjudged hitch-free throughout the federation. In Lagos, Comrades Sessi Agnes Funmi and Abiodun Bakare emerged as chairperson and State Secretary respectively. They are both active members of the Our Water Our Right Coalition.
The Our Water, Our Right Coalition comprises trade unions, civil society and communities that have been at the fore of campaigns against the Lagos State Government plan to experiment on water privatisation via a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model promoted by the World Bank and its private arm – International Finance Corporation (IFC).
Reports show that cities that have experimented the PPP water privatisation recorded mass failures with documented cases in Manila, Nagpur in India, Cameroun, Ghana , Indonesia, Tanzania and Paris, among others. Instead of quality service and affordability, the PPP unleashed corruption, rate hikes, and poor service quality. Most of the cities currently owe huge debts due to slavish clauses in the PPP agreements.
In a statement issued in Lagos by Head, Media and Campaigns, Philip Jakpor, ERA/FoEN said the new executives will strengthen the already existing relationship with civil society and grassroots groups in fending off privatisation in the Lagos water sector and entrenching a culture of democratic participation in resolving the Lagos water crisis.
ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi said: “We applaud the rancor-free State Council elections and particularly the election of Comrades Sessi and Abiodun Bakare who are both actively involved in the anti-water privatisation campaign in Lagos. We believe they will bring their exemplary courage in defending workers rights and democratic control of public utilities to bear in the work of the NLC.
“Though it is a arduous task, we are ready to continue engaging and supporting the union to achieve its mandate of defending our people and advancing the political, economic, social and cultural rights of Nigerian workers and Nigerians in general.”
Aside Sessi Funmi and Abiodun Bakare, other elected executives of the Lagos chapter of the NLC are Comrades Tajudeen Ishola, Gbadamosi Adelajaand Ademisoye Adetunji, all vice-chair persons, Ajose Afolabi the Treasurer, Awojide Olurotimi and Hamsat Adisa, both Auditors andMedinat Balogun and Folashade Ogunjobi two ex-officios.