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Lagos Should Stop All PPP Projects

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Being Talking Points By Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi at a Press Briefing on October 30th 2018

Preamble
Gentlemen of the press, we are all witnesses to the recent happenings in Lagos State as regards the controversial Public Private Partnership (PPP) contract between Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Limited and the Lagos State Government.
For what is now commonly referred to as “Visonscam” excerpts of the agreement as reported by Businessday reads:
“Pursuant to the Lagos State Executive Council Resolution (Ref. No.SSG/CO/S.126/VOL.XVI/60) passed on the Provision of a Guarantee for the above mentioned contract, and following the execution of State wide Residential and General Waste Collection Agreement between Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Limited, and the Lagos State Government, and under which Agreement the LASG is required to issue to the Contractor a guarantee, I am directed to convey the approval for an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) in respect of the above referenced Contract Agreement.”
“Consequent upon the above, this office would implement the monthly remittance of the gross sum of Seven Hundred and Thirteen Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira Only (NGN713,700,000) as a first line charge from the revenue account of Lagos State Government which is to commence in June 2017 and terminate in June 2027.”
The consequence according to the media report, which was never rebutted by the Lagos State government or Visionscape, was that “in a 1 year period the state would spend N8.56 billion as guarantees for the bond and be on the hook for about N85 billion over the 10 year timeline on just this one transaction.”
Since the time we launched the “Our Water , Our Right” campaign in 2015, we have been unambiguous in condemning Ambode’s wholesale adoption of the PPP model for tackling Public Service challenges. We have been bold in declaring that PPP is no other than “legalized sleaze” and you really need not go too far. We only need to re-examine the Lekki-Toll gate PPP failure, the failure in the now privatized power section just to mention two.
We have specifically mobilized Lagosians to reject Ambode’s planned privatization or PPP in the water sector, insisting that water as human right should be publicly and democratically controlled. We mobilized the people to call on the World Bank which recently admitted that it had in cases wrongly advised Nigerian governments in their developmental agenda, to stay off our water.
In our publication, Lagos Water Crisis : Alternative Roadmap for Water Sector, we made recommendation to government on publicly controlled strategies to resolve the Lagos Water crisis as against privatization or PPP.
All along what we got were conflicting statements from officials of the Ambode government . But a detailed report on the status of Lagos PPP water projects in Lagos published by Global Water Intelligence – an international water journal in May this year listed Veolia, Abengoa and Metito as corporations already tipped to manage Adiyan II and other major Lagos water infrastructure. The journal , referenced the current General Manager of the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC), Engr. Mumuni Badmus as its source
Shockingly, Veolia last month denied bidding for any of the projects. It in contrast, revealed that it was actually the Lagos government that approached it to offer a management contract.
We must also point that originally LWC had long advertised the Metito bid as a joint bid with the Visionscape Water Solutions Limited. We have no reason to believe that Visionscape had dropped from the consortium but that the Lagos state government was simply playing smart.
Nonetheless, we had raised alarm during the course of our campaign that Vision scape lacked the capacity to handle the job bestowed on it in waste management and that it will be dangerous to hand over Lagos water infrastructure to such incompetent corporation.
More than one year on, the company has failed woefully. Huge piles of debt are now completed for space on Lagos highways and streets. There is the fear of major epidemic in the city except urgent actions are taken.
We thank Visonscape for vindicating us.
The dismal performance of Visionscape which resulted in its sack by the Lagos State House of Assembly (whether the House has the constitutional powers to do so or not), is a vindication of our stand that Visionscape was a hasty contraption intended to milk Lagos citizens and show that PPP works. But alas! It has not worked and Lagos citizens have another proof that PPP is a false solution.
Whichever way, like waste management, like water. Our alarm last year was that Visionscape was also being positioned along with some other companies with global track-record of infractions to manage Adiyan II and other water schemes in Lagos under the same PPP arrangement. The magnitude of such a disaster replicated in the water sector is unimaginable.
We will continue agitating till we have clear statements from the Lagos government on its roadmap to ensuring Lagos citizens enjoy their right to safe and abundant water within a democratically-controlled space. Handing our water infrastructure to privatisers will only stifle that space as documented PPP water privatizations around the globe have shown. From Cameroon to Ghana, Gabon, Tanzania to Beunos Aires, Manila, Nagpur and Paris. Infact, countries that experimented the PPP water privatization are taking back their water.
While we remain non-partisan, we commend the State House of Assembly for revoking the Visionscape refuse management deal which has only moved Lagos citizens close to a health epidemic, but it doesn’t end there.

We are using this medium to also

Our Asks:
Complete stoppage of the PPP processes in the water sector
Complete stoppage of all PPP processes initiated by the Ambode government.
Probe (including public hearing) of the Visonscape scandal with a view to ascertain how much it has cost (continue to cost) the Lagos tax payers.
Review of sections of the Lagos Environment Law that paved the way for Visionscape to emerge as the sole refuse management firm in Lagos
Recovery of all monies that Visionscape may have “illegally” received since it started operations in 2017
All who have compromised their positions and public trust be made to face justice.

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Abuja School Refutes Oath Of Secrecy Claim Over Death Of Student

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The management of the Premiere Academy in Lugbe area of Abuja, on Sunday, faulted the claims by the Coalition of Gender Based Violence Responders that its students had sworn to an oath of secrecy on many issues, including the death of a 14-year-old SS1 student, Keren-Happuch Akpagher.

 

 

The institution also picked holes in the allegation that it was one of the schools engaged in sexual harassment, which culminated in Keren-Happuch’s Death

 

 

The acting Principal of the school, Chris Akinsowon, was responding to allegations by the leader of the coalition, Lemmy Ughegbe, during a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday and attended by Keren-Happuch’s mother, Vivien Akpagher.

 

 

Ughegbe had alleged that a preliminary report of the autopsy conducted on the deceased by the doctor appointed by the police, Dr Desmond Okonkwo of the Maitama General Hospital, revealed that she was raped.

 

 

The activist had challenged the school management to a media dialogue to discuss the alleged rape and death of Keren-Happuch and other cases of sexual molestation, which he claimed the organisation had the records of and which the school was allegedly covering up instead of handing paedophiles over to the police.

 

 

But Akinsowon said in the event that any form of sexual assault happened to the deceased in the school and leading to her death, the management would join hands with all relevant security agencies to prosecute such a person in line with the laws of the land.

 

 

He maintained that the autopsy result had yet to come out, stressing that it was part of the investigation the school insisted must be done, adding that Premiere Academy was earnestly awaiting the result.

 

“The autopsy result is not out yet. It is a part of the investigation process the school insists must be allowed to take its course. We earnestly await the result and plead that nothing should be said to pre-empt whatever the outcome may be,” he stated.

 

 

Speaking about the staff member of the school, who was allegedly sent on an indefinite suspension and later dismissed, Akinsowon said it was “based on careless talk with a student as part of our commitment to making the school safe for our students and earning the confidence of our parents.”

 

 

He described reports that the students had sworn to an oath of secrecy as very disturbing, stating, “How can secondary students take an oath of secrecy? This is nothing but blackmail and an attempt to divert the minds of the public from the truth

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Come After Me If You Can, Bakare Dares Top FG Official

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BAKARE

Serving Overseer of Citadel Global Community Church, formerly called The Latter Rain Assembly Lagos, Pastor Tunde Bakare, has dared an unidentified official of the Federal Government to come after him based on his recent public pronouncements.

Speaking on Sunday during a sermon in his church, Bakare said: “I dare you to come after me since that is the usual style now. You might have done it to others; you are about to learn a lesson if you touch me.”

He added: “If you know what I have done in secret, bring it to the open. I dare you to come after me if you can. I worked with you; I worked for you; I supported you to get there (where you are). When I talk now, I now have a smelly mouth.

 

“I’m not interested in meeting you any longer; no more visits. Now, it is war, because Nigeria must be set free.”

 

He also berated the Federal Government for clamping down on leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu and Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho.

 

Rather than work towards justice, he accused the Federal Government of using intimidation and brutality.

 

 

Bakare, who was running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in 2011, recalled how he backed the unnamed top official to his current position.

 

 

Addressing the official, Bakare added: “Have you forgotten that you vowed never to contest again. I said ‘not so’. I showed you how you can win the next election and you agreed to run and you won. I was not considering myself but concerned about how Nigeria can become great.

 

 

“Winning an election is a different thing; doing the right thing is another. No one must behave as if Nigeria is a personal property. Nigeria must be set free and any obstruction along the way must be removed; it must get out of the way.”

 

 

He told Nigerians to be prepared for baton of change, recalling how he pronounced the late Gen Sani Abacha’s days numbered during his fist rule.

 

“I don’t support any act of violence, taking up arms against the country and killing people. Those are in the realm of criminality and anybody doing that must be brought to book,” Bakare stated to a rousing round of prayers and declarations.

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BREAKING: Buhari Departs To London For Medical Check, Summit

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Buhari

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), will leave Abuja today for London to see his doctors and participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education 2021-2025.

 

 

This was contained in a statement by the president’s media adviser, Femi Adesina.

 

 

He is expected to be back by the second week of August 2021.

 

 

The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari will today Monday July 26, 2021, travel to the United Kingdom to participate in the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025.

 

 

 

“The Summit, which will be co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, will bring together Heads of State and Government as well as stakeholders and youth leaders, and provide a platform for partners to chart a way forward towards transforming education systems in partner countries, through exchange of best practices.

 

 

“It will also offer the opportunity for leaders to make 5-year pledges to support GPE’s work to help transform education systems in up to 90 countries and territories.

 

 

“Deliberations at the Summit will focus on: The Power of Education –A Conversation between Global Champions; Transforming Education for Girls; Financing for Impact and Recovery and; What Now? Priorities for Transforming Education in the Coming Five Years, among others.

 

“President Buhari will also hold a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
After the Summit, the President will spend a few days for an earlier scheduled medical check-up. He is due back by second week of August, 2021.

 

 

“The President will be accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of State Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd) and Director General of National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.”

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