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Waste managers seek resolution with LASG

Waste managers seek resolution with LASG

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Feyisayo Popoola

Despite the air of uncertainty that has enveloped waste management in Lagos State, the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria has committed to an amicable legal resolution of the issues in dispute with the state government so that the new system will achieve its goals.

According to the Chairman, AWAM, Mr. Oladipo Egbeyemi, though the existence of the members’ businesses has been threatened since 2016 when the government announced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative with foreign participants, the association will not condone any form of sabotage or blackmail against the government.

Egbeyemi said the members would continue to adhere with the directive of the governor and work to revive Lagos from its current deplorable state.

Egbeyemi, while addressing journalists in Lagos, stated that the government had revealed to the operators the plan to concede 80 per cent of the waste management services to a foreign company.

He said the association had appealed to the government to reconsider the decision as it would risk the N6bn investment by the AWMN members, but that the request had so far fallen on deaf ears.

Egbeyemi said majority of the members of the association had been in the job since 1977 after the creation of the Lagos State Refuse Disposal Board, now Lagos Waste Management Authority.

He stated that the Private Sector Participants were encouraged to join the scheme, adding that the work had been efficiently done until recently when the problem of dumpsites arose.

Egbeyemi explained, “We have appealed to the government to find a solution to the dumpsites. Dumpsites are the end tail of our operations; if we are unable to dispose waste off, then there is no way we will be able to go back to the streets and clear more waste. This is greatly affecting our turnaround time.

“We are appealing to the government to help us find a final solution to the problem of dumpsites for us to efficiently carry out our duties and rid Lagos of trash and diseases that could be spread through waste.”

He appealed to the government to domesticate waste management services as the 20 per cent allocated to the PSP operators would not be enough to engage their workforce.

According to him, all they want is a profitable environment to operate and an assurance of earning a living.

Egbeyemi urged the government to enforce its policy of door-to-door collection of waste, adding that it was internationally acknowledged as the best practice.

He said the government should build more dumpsites, ensure that all existing ones were accessible at all times, and initiate massive advocacy programmes to enlighten the citizens on sanitation practices.

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