The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, has advised private waste managers against sabotaging the government’s Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).
Speaking against the backdrop of some Private Sector Participants (PSP) arrested for allegedly dumping waste on major streets across the state, Oba Akiolu said the development was unfortunate and cautioned them against discrediting the new waste management regime.
He warned residents against dumping refuse in public places, saying the CLI was for the benefit of all. The Oba called for support for Visionscape to rid the state of refuse.
Oba Akiolu spoke at a Town Hall meeting at the City Hall on Lagos Island to sensitise market women and others on the CLI project and to ensure a cleaner environment.
According to him, Lagosians will ensure that the state is not littered with refuse, warning that he will not beg for anybody arrested by the government for dumping refuse at unauthorised places.
The monarch said the government had put in place a mechanism to deal with waste, saying that this kind of enlightenment would be carried out in other parts of the state.
He urged Lagosians not to patronise cart pushers as some of them hide arms in their carts to wreck havoc, as well as dump such refuse in inappropriate places.
“I was in security service for 32 years, most of these miscreants are armed robbers who hide their guns, live ammunition under these carts for carting away refuse but with the initiative of the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, things are going to be better. We are going to have a cleaner Lagos provided we have 100 percent cooperation from the citizens, which is very necessary,” he said, adding that the need for such cooperation of the people made him to hold the meeting.
Lagos, he explained, has started to grow better and bigger; hence, the need for market women and men to cooperate.
Also, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Durosimi-Etti warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in unauthorised places, saying that perpetrators would face sanctioned.
The commissioner reassured that the new solid waste management system was well-thought out and positioned to offer a solution to the waste management challenge thrown up by population increase and facility deficit that the state has had to contend with overtime.
He said the PSP operators could not cope with the huge refuse in Lagos because the population kept growing, saying that they did not have the equipment to cope, especially with the rise in foreign exchange.
According to him, this was what informed the Ambode administration to get a new consortium, Visionscape, to handle domestic waste, while the PSP operators would handle commercial waste.
Durosimi-Etti appealed to Lagosians to bag their waste properly so that refuse would not litter the streets, urging them to report people seen dumping refuse in unauthorised places to the government.
The Iyaloja-General of Nigeria, Folasade Tinubu-Ojo, said Lagos had always been a role model to other states, urging the market women to contribute their quota to make Lagos cleaner and better than it was.
He called on Visionscape and the government to provide market women with thicker waste carriers so that they could bag their waste properly, assuring that the market women would cooperate to make Lagos clean and embrace CLI.
Chairman, Lagos Island Local Government, Prince Adetoyosi Olusi appealed to people on the Island to embrace the culture of bagging their waste and dumping them in designated places where the waste collectors would cart them away.
He called for the ban of scavenger, saying they normally litter the environment.
Temidire Folashade Tinubu-Ojo Market Secretary, Ikawoolaso, Oshodi, Odi-Olowo Local Council Development Area, Mr. Mukaila Bolaji, praised the government for the initiative and promised that his members would cooperate with the government.
He said the gathering had made him and his members to be more informed about the operation.
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