The Lagos State House of Assembly has declared war on Governor Akinwunmi Ambode by ordering the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state to tell the Private Sector Partnership (PSP) operators in their areas to take up refuse collection with immediate effect. The move is an affront on Ambode’s Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI and Visionscape’s sole right of refuse management and collection in the state.
The current move is lending credence to rumour flying around that the State House of Assembly had been allegedly given the mandate to impeach the governor by the powers that be in the All Progressives Congress, APC. Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who gave this directive on behalf of the lawmakers during plenary also ordered the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to invite the Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti to appear before the House on the matter next week. This action of the Speaker followed an urgent matter of public importance raised by Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa II Constituency on heaps of refuse scattered all over the state.
According to him, the Lagos State Government did not know about Visionscape, saying that there were three arms of government, including legislative, executive and judiciary, noting that the state government ought to have consulted the House on Visionscape before they started operation. “We once wrote the Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade not to pay Visionscape again and that he would return any money he paid to them after our instruction to the coffers of the state government. We will go to that, when the time comes, but we have to do the needful now.
“We are calling on the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs in the state to have meetings with the PSP operators to go back to work and they should start paying them and make the residents to start paying the operators. We have to avoid epidemics and be proactive,” he said. Obasa warned those stopping people from dumping refuse at the dump sites to desist from doing so, saying that “I saw a lot of refuse trucks in a bad state and that some of them have been abandoned.”
The speaker insisted that the House ought to have approved the new refuse disposal policy of the state government before Visionscape started work. However, Yishawu said “Some refuse are taken to Epe and Ikorodu but it is a bit far now as 300 instead of 800 trucks now dispose refuse. “The sanitary land fill in Epe is not being utilised and the transfer loading stations too are not working effectively and the turn- around time of packing the refuse is not being utilised.”
The Majority Leader of the House, Sanai Agunbiade from Ikorodu Constituency I disclosed that heaps of refuse littered his area, adding that for the state to have good sanitation, a law on environmental sanitation was passed in Lagos State, but that it seemed it was not properly implemented. According to him, there was need to challenge those in the Ministry of Health and those in the Ministry of the Environment and that the Commissioner for the Environment be invited to know the challenges facing the Ministry so as to verify their challenges.
In his contribution, Bisi Yusuff from Alimosho Constituency I disclosed that eight people died in Igando, where they dumped refuse in his area. He said that Visionscape did not know the job, and that they did not even allow PSP operators to help the people. According to him, there were “big rats on the roads now and they could even make a vehicle to stumble. We should look at it critically. They are not picking any refuse in the state. It is an important matter that should be handled urgently.”
Also, Abiodun Tobun from Epe Constituency I stated that Lagos State is dirty and that only God would help the state, adding that Epe was not benefiting from the system as their water had been contaminated and roads now bad.