Dr. Babatunde Adejare, Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, has responded to claims by the association of PSP (Private Sector Participant) waste operators that the state government is planning to displace them, or replace them with new operators.
This is coming on the back of media reports that the operators instituted a suit against some ministries and agencies within the state government, urging the court to uphold and protect their existing rights.
In his response, the commissioner allayed the fears of the operators by assuring that the safety and wellbeing of the people of Lagos is a top priority of the Akinwunmi Ambode led government and noted that the state will not do anything that is not in the collective interest of the people of the state.
According to him, “We are all cognizant of the numerous challenges that have plagued our state sanitation system in the state, and the call for an urgent and intelligent solution to the perennial problem, which have not only had destructive impact on our environment, health and lives. To address this, our administration took a decision and determined efforts towards water, sanitation and hygiene in the state”.
“To activate this in a manner that protects and guarantees the rights of the people, we started the Cleaner Lagos Initiative with a Stakeholder Engagement Programme. Over the last 10 months, we have taken a holistic approach to identifying the unique problems, and have focused on creating a framework for a sustainable integrated waste management system”.
“We sought and obtained executive council approval to carry out a full review in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Justice. We put the existing laws and policies under a microscope, reviewed them to reflect that sanitation becomes a high-priority activity in the state and is treated as a non-negotiable requisite in Lagos”.
“Consequently, we came up with strategies for regulation, enforcement and most importantly financing, to support the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, which was birthed from the results of this process”.
The Cleaner Lagos Initiative was created as an extensive and sustainable waste management system for Lagos to maximize the state’s potential in solid waste management with recycling, recovery and waste reduction efforts, liquid waste management, drainage management, and waste water treatment.
The initiative also seeks to fully develop sufficient infrastructure for collection, proper processing and disposal of all waste to meet the state’s environmental objectives.