Dozens of workers of the Lagos State Water Corporation on Monday staged a protest at the Water House in Ijora where they demanded an overhaul of their management and a probe of the corporation’s finances.
The workers accused the management of mismanagement of funds, embezzlement of workers’ pension and cooperative savings, failure to deliver on their mandates to Lagosians, among others.
They alleged that Mumuni Badmus, the general manager of the water corporation, and other principal officers were responsible for the non-remittance of ₦550 million deducted as pensions from workers’ salaries and also embezzled cooperative savings of over ₦150 million.
The protesters posted on the gates and walls of the water corporation headquarters, placards indicating their grievances.
Taiwo Faleye, the Lagos State chairman of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Service AUPCTRE, said the water corporation itself “is going down the drain, no production.”
“The major water corporations, Iju, Adiyan, Akute, and Ishasi, are supposed to give a minimum of 120 million gallons per day, aside from the mini and micro waterworks. We have not been getting maximum production; production has been as low as 30 million gallons per day from all these water corporations.
“The corporation is owing to its staff pension fund of over ₦350 million and cooperative contributions of almost 200 million. The money was embezzled by the managing director of the corporation and a couple of people who call themselves the management.”
Abiodun Bakare, the state secretary of AUPCTRE, said although the corporation was established to provide potable water to the people, it had failed.
“The policies of Mumuni has not in any way added value to the corporation, yet, this man has been awarding contracts to political associates, friends and family,” he said.
“You can imagine grass being cut for (N)24 million in Lagos Water Corporation, an office space being renovated for 70 million.
“Funds was released for the rehabilitation of mini and micro waterworks, as I speak to you, I was in Iju and Akute just yesterday, one will just assume that they have closed down those places,” Mr Bakare said.
The protesters called for the intervention of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Edema Adefoluke, a water corporation staffer, said ”things have not been so bad in her 29 years of service.”
“We have had evil leaders for the past four years, staff are crying, we are suffering,” said Mrs Adefoluke, the chairperson of Lagos Water Corporation, AUPCTRE.
“Our pension has not been remitted; cooperative money has not been remitted. 2011/2015, 2017/ till date, the pension is still at stake, no tax payment, they keep deducting our money without making payment.”
Efforts by PREMIUM TIMES to get a response from the management of the Lagos State Water Corporation were unsuccessful.
When contacted on Monday afternoon, O. Anifowose, the principal information officer, requested that the reporter call back.
Subsequent phone calls and text messages did not get a response.