We have been around for over 50 years. The Water Sector in Lagos State evolved when potable water supply was under the mandate of the Federal Ministry of Works. The first water works was at Iju, meant to supply water to the colonial residents at Ikoyi. When Lagos State was formed in 1967, the responsibility for water supply was transferred from the Federal to State Government. In 1980, the Lagos State Government established the Lagos State Water Management Board (LSWMB) which was backed by an enabling edict in 1985. LSWMB would later be elevated to the Lagos State Water Corporation (LWSC) by the 1994 edict and later by the Lagos Water Corporation law of 2003. The 2003 law was replaced in 2004 by the Lagos Water Sector Law that established the Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) as an asset holding company mandated to develop, operate, maintain and own all the water supply and sewerage services assets. The 2004 law also established the Lagos Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) which is mandated to protect the long term interests of consumers with regard to the quality, price and reliability of service providers.


Iju, the first waterworks had a capacity of 2.42MGD. The plant capacity was upgraded to 6mgd in 1943, and 11mgd in 1954. In 1962, it was upgraded to and to 35mgd in 1973. The Ishasi waterworks of 4mgd was constructed to meet the needs of the Second All Black and African Festival of Arts Culture in 1977 (FESTAC’77).

In 1982 Iju was once again upgraded to achieve a capacity of 45mgd, and to fully meet the needs of Lagosians 10 additional mini waterworks were constructed, to boost the efficiency of the Lagos Water Corporation. In 1992, the Adiyan waterworks of 70MGD  was commissioned.


However, despite  continuous efforts to increase the capacities of our waterworks, water demand in the state continues to outstrip supply. For example, by the year 1985, only 47% of Lagosians enjoyed access to potable water. Yet the Lagos State Government continues in its efforts to increase water supply in the state and investing in the establishment of additional mini and micro waterworks.


In 2005, with support from the Federal Ministry of Water Resources and funding from World Bank, we embarked on implementing the World Bank supported Second National Urban Water Reform Project (NUWSRP II). The NUWSRP II focused on infrastructure rehabilitation, network expansion and capacity building. It was also geared at attracting  Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) and introducing policy reforms alongside institutional developments.

In 2010, the Lagos State Government in a bid to address the challenge of epileptic power supply commissioned an Independent Power Plant (IPP) to supply electricity at the Akute Intake that serves Iju and Adiyan Waterworks. At the same time the Lagos Water Supply Master Plan that focused on projects that could be implemented under PPPs was developed.


Since 2010, we have carried out a number of infrastructure improvement and renewal projects including the rehabilitation of Adiyan and Iju Waterworks, rehabilitation of the Akute intake works, rehabilitation of Ikeja, Aluasa and  Isheri-Oke  Water  Works,   construction of Iponri and Aguda Water Works, network rehabilitation and expansion of service areas in Ikeja, Oshodi, Lagos Island, Ikoyi and Victoria Island; among other projects.

We have also sensitized the public on the Lagos Water Supply Master Plan and made inroads in attracting more PPPs. With support from the Lagos State Government the construction of Adiyan  Water Works Phase II, of70mgd is expected to be completed soon

PPP discussions for Igbonla water scheme I (capacity 110mgd), the Igbonla water scheme Phase II of 100 mgd and Isashi  Waterworks of 35MGD are also ongoing.


We have learnt that infrastructure development, even when backed by institutional reforms is not sufficient for building a sustainable water utility. Aspects of the internal operating environment related to the organizational structure, employee relations, staff capacity, communication, performance management, attitude, organizational culture, management information systems and operating systems must be addressed.

In addition deliberate efforts aimed at seeking stakeholder understanding, collaboration and networking must be implemented. We are also aware that we must explore the full spectrum of infrastructure financing options in order to meet the water demand of the population.

Since 2016, we have engaged various experts to carry out tariff studies, undertake HR diagnostic studies and to facilitate the development and implementation of short-term Performance Improvement Programmes aimed at generating quick wins in achieving financial viability by addressing aspects of the internal operating environment related to autonomy, accountability, attitude, organizational culture, and leadership.

At the same time we launched the Information Technology Strategic Plan and developed an integrated web-based billing, revenue collection and customer complaints management system; and other modules (finance, procurement, inventory and HR systems) all aimed at improving decision-making  processes, making it easier for our partners to do business with us. We have also improved communication with our stakeholders through the media, our newsletter and by implementing community meetings, door to door visits and sensitization drives.

Our efforts have gained us accolades internationally and locally. We were awarded the Water Leaders’ Award in recognition of our efforts to ensure Operational Sustainability for Africa’s Largest City, at the Global Water Summit, Paris, in April 2018. In the same month, we were recognized by the World Quality Alliance as the winner of Africa’s Best Premium Quality Clean Water Solution Provider of the year 2018, at the Work Quality Summit held in Abuja.

We have had a challenging journey; and while we have made some  progress towards achieving our goals, a lot remains to   be done. We have in place a Strategic Business Plan which is a culmination of years of planning and sector development and we believe it will generate significant improvement in water service delivery to Lagosians.