LASWARCO MOVES TO REGULATE WATER, WASTEWATER SERVICE PROVIDERS IN ESTATES
Says Interest of Service Providers, Customers Must Be Balanced
The Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LASWARCO) has said it would leave no stone unturned to properly regulate the charges and water quality of commercial water and wastewater service providers in estates across the State.
Executive Secretary of LASWARCO, Mrs. Funke Adepoju, gave the assurance during a stakeholders’ engagement held at the Commission’s office in Alausa, Ikeja, with the Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA), which is the umbrella body for over 120 Lekki Estates, Communities and Stakeholders from 1004 Area to Epe and Ibeju Lekki.
In performing its functions and exercising its powers, Adepoju said Section 311, Subsection 1 of the Harmonised Lagos State Environmental Management Protection Law, 2017, empowers LASWARCO to protect the long-term interests of consumers with regards to price, quality and reliability of services in the water sector.
The Commission, according to her, is also statutorily empowered to regulate activities relating to abstraction, provision, consumption, production, supply, distribution, sale and use of water, the quality of service and the tariff payable to ensure the financial stability of the water sector and regulate allowable returns to the operators, be it public or private water service provision.
“In line with its mandate, therefore, all required efforts will be channelled in line with the provision of the law to ensure that utility service providers in estates of more than 50 tenements across the State deliver value for money, comply with standards and guidelines, including having the prescribed license and permit, to operate as water service providers”, Adepoju said.
She added that even as the law empowers the Commission to ensure the viability of the sector, it also has the mandate to ensure that customers are not subjected to unfair charges by all operators of water and wastewater services.
Mrs. Adepoju said the engagement with LERSA is one of the series that will take place, as it had become necessary to sensitise the consumers of water in estates across Lagos of their basic rights and responsibilities and that of the service providers and government, just as the agency states the obligations of all concerned in the scheme of delivery of effective water supply and sanitation services as well as the laid out mechanism for complaints and redress with the Commission.
Responding, the leader of the delegation and President of the Environment Committee, LERSA, Olorogun James Emadoye, said the association was delighted to note the regulatory reforms being championed by LASWARCO, saying the efforts of the government are well appreciated.
He said that aside from pricing and water quality, the regulatory initiative of LASWARCO would also help to garner useful data which, in the long run, will help in effective mapping and environmental protection.
“We are glad that all our fears are being addressed by the Commission. Where there is regulation, it is not meant to oppress one for another but meant to discharge equity to all stakeholders and this is where we also stand”. Emadoye said.
The meeting was attended by representatives of various estates in the Lekki area including Victoria Garden City Property Owners and Residents Association (VGCPORA), CarltonGate Estate and Chevron Drive, among others.