The newly formed Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), formerly the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), has said its priority is to ensure that environmental infractions become a thing of the past.
Its Executive Secretary, Mrs Idowu Mohammed, made this known in an interview.
She said LAGESC would make sure that the environment is kept clean and in line with the mandate of Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).
Mohammed said the corps would be used to police the highways to ensure that people do not dump refuse indiscriminately on the roads, and to prevent traders from displaying their wares on the road.
“The sanitation corps will clear the pathways and bridges and dislodge people selling on the road. They will make sure that the roads are clean and that there is no infraction. They will make sure that the Public Utility Levy (PUL) is paid by residents of Lagos State,” she explained.
She assured residents that the new corps would carry out its responsibilities in line with international best practices, noting that gone were the days when KAI officials conducted their affairs with uncivily.
“We are out to serve the residents with all civility and decorum. The government’s aim is to provide and promote a cleaner and healthy environment, devoid of indiscriminate dumping of refuse and drainage blockade,” she said.
Mohammed said that the government would deploy motorised trucks to sweep highways, a reversal from the previous era where sweeping of roads is done by human beings and thereby exposing them to the danger of being knocked down by vehicles.
The LAGESC chief said over 27,000 of the 30,000 sweepers that would be recruited would be made to sweep streets in their communities and be paid salaries above the N18,000 minimum wage.
“Under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, 30,000 jobs will be created for sweepers. We have an agreement backed up by the government. In the old waste management system, wastes were collected, but the disposal mechanism was the problem,” she said.
The Managing Director, Solid Waste Management (SWM) Solutions, the consultant to the government, Mrs. Tolagbe Martins, assuring the public of better days ahead in waste management, said the CLI is incomplete without effective enforcement and total compliance, adding that this is where LAGESC will play dominant roles.
“The aim of CLI is to create an enabling environment for investment. The passage of the law enabling private sector participation in waste management has made it a reality,” she said.
Martins explained that the “PUL is a property-based charge applicable to all properties within the state. It has replaced all previous waste management levies.”
She added that under the new dispensation, the Public Utilities Monitoring and Assurance Unit (PUMAU) has been created to coordinate PUL bill generation.
Martins also disclosed that the government had concessioned three Landfills under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) for 25 years, adding that this would take effect from next year.
But pending the readiness of the three landfills, the government, Martins explained, would make do with what is available now, noting that the Olusosun dumpsite would be closed immediately the landfills were ready.
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