There appears to be ongoing plans by the Lagos State Government to increase the number of waste managers, following the screening of 140 new Private Sector Participant (PSP) operators. This is all part of efforts aimed at ensuring a cleaner Lagos.
Adebola Shabi, a Special Adviser to Governor Ambode on the state’s Cleaner Lagos Initiative, made this known recently during a stakeholders’ meeting comprising of market, community and religious leaders.
Shabi stated there are currently about 350 PSP operators in the state, an abysmal number compared to the thousands of tonnes of solid waste that Lagosians generate on a daily basis. According to him, a survey by the government suggests that about 16,000 commercial premises currently exist in Lagos. What this means, therefore, is that “if these people distribute these premises at 400 apiece, they would still have left over.”
However, Shabi warned that the government will not hesitate to withdraw operation license from any PSP operator who displays any form of ineptitude to the task.
“The government will not hesitate to withdraw the certificate of anyone who refuses to work. About 140 fresh applicant operators have been screened by the government waiting to be deployed to work across the state.” – Shabi
Akinwunmi’s Special Adviser also made mention of Visionscape, a company the government hired to supervise waste management in the metropolis. He also noted that about 2 million waste bags and a total of 250,000 garbage bins have been distributed by the government across the state, according to the Punch.
He also used the opportunity to advise Lagos residents to imbibe the culture of keeping the state clean and desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse by the roadside and in drainage systems. He also advised against patronosing cart pushers whom he alleged do not properly dispose waste.
“Research has shown that most of these refuse ultimately find their way into our waters and they end up contaminating the aqua life. Fishes found in our waters get contaminated because of the contaminants we dump into our rivers and we end up consuming them, ingesting into our system carcinogenic metals that predispose us to cancer.”
He also made a case for recycling, noting that “materials such as plastic bottles and electronic waste such as laptops, phones and batteries, among others, can be sorted separately and recycled.”
Recall that controversies trailed the emergence of Visionscape Sanitation solution as the official coordinator of waste management activities in the state. This is because the Lagos State Government had suspended PSP operators in the state and engaged Visionscape to manage the refuse collection in the state, BusinessDay reported.
This resulted in the immediate piling of trash along major Lagos streets, even as many residents have lamented the return of refuse dumps on the streets of Lagos and wondered if the waste management company is capable of managing waste collection in the stat.
This prompted the government to make efforts towards resolving the controversies by brokering peace between Visionscape and the PSP operators. This is all part of the government’s aim to achieve a cleaner, healthier, and safer Lagos.
It should, however, be noted that the refuse crisis in some parts of the state still persists.