The Lagos State House of Assembly has ordered PSP operators in the state to resume refuse collection in the state. The House in a resolution ordered the state Commissioner of Finance the not to release any money to Visionscape.
The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Hon. Obasa revealed that the firm currently managing the state’s waste collection, did not have requisite clearance from the House in line with the provision of the law.
According to him
“The law of Lagos State provides that any contract to be awarded by the Executive must pass through the Assembly, but in case of Visionscape contract, it is unknown to us. The company remains unknown and should not be paid from the account of Lagos State, except the Commissioner for Finance pays from his personal pocket.”
“There is the need for PSP operators to be re-absorbed into the system as Visionscape has not managed Lagos waste properly.”
The House further directed the chairmen of 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs) in the state to immediately mobilise Private Sector Partnership (PSP) operators in their areas to take up the task of domestic waste collection.
How it all Started
The Ambode Administration through the Ministry of Environment introduced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative and subsequently appointed Visionscape Sanitation Solution Limited, as its strategic partner for the deployment of waste management infrastructure in the state.
The State Executive Council also passed a resolution to secure the financing structure adopted by Visionscape and its partners to raise up to N50 billion in bonds for the implementation of the CLI through the issuance of an Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) as a charge on the State Internally Generated Revenue Account/ Environmental Trust Fund.
The company thereafter raised an initial first tranche of its bond issuance, an N27 billion, 17.5% fixed rate, a five-year bond due 2022.
This, however, drew condemnation from stakeholders and residents in the state. The PSP operators went to court in January last year to challenge the government’s action.The court ordered that parties should explore an alternative dispute settlement but sadly this has stalled as both sides have refused to budge.
Many residents have lamented the return of refuse dumps on the streets of Lagos and wondered if the waste management company has the capacity to manage waste collection in a city like Lagos.
Visionscape has already raised a N27 billion bond program, with this new development, there is an imminent legal tussle between the Lagos State Government and Visionscape. Let’s wait and see.