Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday launched the much anticipated new environmental management policy encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), expressing optimism that the development would drive the State to the desired future of achieving clean, hygienic and flood-free environment.
Speaking at the soft launch of the CLI held at Agege Stadium, Governor Ambode said the initiative was an enduring solution carefully designed to address the shortcomings in the management of the environment, as well as accelerate seamless cleaning of the State.
The Governor, who was represented by the State’s Deputy Governor, Mrs Idiat Adebule, said since the inception of his administration, sanitation had been given priority as it was important for maintaining a secure and more prosperous State.
While recalling the signing of the Environmental Management Protection Law which he performed in March 2017, Governor Ambode said deliberate reforms to revolutionize the solid waste management sector in line with international best practice have been put in place through the CLI, and urged the people to support government in its bid to transform the sector.
He said: “To roll back sanitation shortcomings and accelerate seamless cleaning of our environment, the Lagos megacity was in dire need of an enduring solution that would match the needed technology with the massive investment required for its attainment.
“It is this void that the CLI has come to fill by creating an environment for the private sector to harness international best practice in the vital area of solid waste management and consequently free public funds for other beneficial uses.
“As a result, residential waste collection and processing which is concessioned to a reputable and competent multinational Waste Services Company is being given a new lease of life with 600 brand new compactors and 900,000 electronically tracked bins, while wastes generated by the commercial sector would be handled by licensed waste management operators (PSP).”
Governor Ambode added that for efficient collection and disposal operations, the State Government has also concessioned three Transfer Loading Stations/Material Recovery Facilities at Agege, Oshodi and Simpson and three Waste Depots at Mushin, Ogudu and Simpson with the aim of rehabilitating and retrofitting the facilities to world class standard, while Engineered Sanitary and Engineered Hazardous Landfills were being constructed in different locations across the State under Build, Finance, Operate and Transfer (BFOT) model.
“This is what the CLI represents as it aims to revitalize the entire solid waste management sector to have far-reaching benefits and multiplier effects for the State in particular, and the country at large. The new initiative will usher in new financially viable and technologically driven sub-sector to the Lagos economy, creating new business and job opportunities, including over 40,000 direct and indirect jobs with high poverty alleviation emphasis to serve as a model for the entire country,” the Governor said.
Earlier, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Adejare, in his welcome address, said the soft launch of the CLI with 920 LAGESC Corps, marine waste collection and mechanized sweeping, was a dream come true in the implantation of the new environmental initiative, just as he expressed confidence that the development would translate to improved health and quality of life for residents of the State.
He also announced that the State Government would soon role out other components of the CLI such as residential waste collection and processing, commercial, industrial, hazardous and medical waste collection, as well as secondary and tertiary drainage maintenance.