Nigeria

Enugu indigenes petition Jonathan over Water scheme

Some concerned citizens of Enugu State have raised the alarm over the decision of outgoing Sullivan Chime administration to concession the supply of water in the state to a private firm for a period of 25 years.

In an open letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, signed by Chief Igwenabo Eko and Chief Sunday Uzoigwe, yesterday, a copy of which was made available to journalists in Enugu, the concerned citizens alleged that the Commissioner for Public Utilities in the state, Mr. Michael Nwachukwu, has concluded the surrender of the functions and operations of the State Water Corporation to a private firm, AG Trust Limited based in Abuja.

The aggrieved citizens also alleged that based on the information and document available to them, the private firm would take over the collection of water rate in the state for 25 years, without any known track record of water business whether in or outside the country before.

According to them, investigations showed that the firm was being promoted by highly placed government officials and their cronies, who plans to award themselves severance benefits, as the present administration in the state winds down.

The Enugu citizens therefore appealed to President Jonathan to intervene and call the state government to order, saying that similar suspicious water board concessioning scheme was proposed in Lagos but was later abandoned following public outcry.

According the petition, “All men and women of goodwill should rise in unison to condemn this modern day slavery.

“The concessioning of the Enugu State Water Corporation at this administration’s eleventh hour lends credence to the widely held opinion that the deal is only some severance package for some top shots in Government.

“Government should re-think this questionable concessioning.  It is not only belated; it is not in the interest of the masses. It is meant to benefit a few selfish and misguided elements, who have no spirit of patriotism in them,” they said.

Meanwhile, some staff of the State Water Corporation have similarly petitioned the State House of Assembly over the same concessioning, urging the Assembly to cancel the contract as it is anti-people.

Effort to speak with the Commissioner for Public Utilities, Mr. Nwachukwu on the development, proved abortive as his phone line could not be reached as at press time.

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