The Lagos State Government, through the Office of Civic Engagement, has commenced a programme to enlighten residents on the provision of its new environmental management and protection law.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement, Mr. Kehinde Joseph, at an enlightenment programme held in Ojo Local Government recently, said the Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, wished to assure residents that the new environmental management initiative was created to scale up cleanliness in the entire state.
Joseph said the state government had observed deficiencies in the waste management process and had harmonised all existing environmental laws into one.
According to him, the law will give room for private investors to participate actively in solid waste management, create business opportunities and new jobs for residents.
He said the initiative would also accommodate previous stakeholders in the waste management process.
He added, “I want to allay the fears of stakeholders in the previous waste management chain about the prospect of losing their jobs. The new approach will rather provide wider areas of operation, as all aspects of waste management will remain in focus.
“This will attract more participation by private investors and create over 400,000 jobs as cleanliness will be taken to every nook and cranny of the state.”
He said residents should embrace the initiative and stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse on roads, drainages and canals.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Hunpe, said that the current private sector participants had been moved to commercial waste management while a new arrangement had been made for residential.
He added, “The governor has no intention of taking away anyone’s job but plans to empower those in the waste management value chain through the new initiative.
“The PSP operators have been moved to commercial waste management with 99 per cent revenue going to them while they are expected to remit just one per cent to the Lagos State Waste Management Authority as administrative charge.”
The Director of Legal Matters, LAWMA, Mrs. Yinka Adeyemi, said proper waste management was a major attribute of every mega city, adding that the new initiative would make the state cleaner than it used to be.
According to her, under the new law, certain processes will be observed, such as the creation of a Public Monitoring and Assurance Unit to coordinate modalities for billing; an introduction of public utilities bill; an environmental trust fund with a board of trustees which would be funded with money from waste management tariff, among others.
She added that LAWMA would remain the regulatory body while an environmental sanitation corps would be established to ensure general cleanliness and educate people on sanitation matters, adding that the state government would soon put the law in the gazette, Punch reports.