The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has assured Lagosians that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, which reviewed the state’s environmental laws, will reduce rather than increase the hardship being faced by the people.
Ambode, who stated this in a statement, described the initiative as a creative solution to the seemingly intractable refuse problem confronting the state.
He said, “Cleaner Lagos Initiative is borne out of my experience as a Lagosian. I have lived in Lagos for over 50 years. When you are coming into Lagos from Ibadan, the first thing you see on the right side is the dump site. Should I sit and continue to watch? The answer is no.
“Even for imagination sake, that thing can work, all I need is players and team members. The city is very dirty. It is not healthy and so our total wellbeing and health is defined by our health status and our productivity.
“I think by now people should know that I am a dreamer and I want the people to dream along with me. This is like a vision. I have been given the opportunity to process something and improve on it and I don’t want to misuse it,” he revealed.
He said the initiative would give equal attention to all parts of Lagos State from Ikoyi to Ayobo, adding that the consortium “will divide refuse collection into layers and make the existing PSP operators bankable to carry out the job of commercial refuse collection while the consortium tackles collection of domestic refuse across the state.
“We will make their business bankable and then push them to commercial refuse. So, they can go to companies around and collect their money directly. With that, the PSP operators that really do not have enough capital will be able to employ more people and be bankable. They can go to the bank and say ‘I have this quantum of business every month so, give me a particular amount to buy new equipment,’” he added.
Ambode said under the initiative, the people would need to pay their public utility levy once in a year and their refuse would be collected every day, adding “ the template we are using is that every ward will employ 100 street sweepers which translates to 27,500 people that will be kitted the same way all over the state. Lagos State will invest in equipment just like in London and have a zero tolerance for dirt on our streets.”