THE Lagos State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tokunbo Wahab, has charged Private Sector Participant (PSP) operators in the waste management value chain in the state on improved service delivery and transparency.
Wahab in company of the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu, made the plea over the weekend while Addressing the executives of the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAM) during a meeting at Alausa.
This is contained in a press statement signed by Director, Public Affairs of the Ministry, Mr Kunle Adeshina, on Sunday in Lagos.
Wahab said their modes of operations must be digitised to make it more transparent and profitable.
“Being aware that PSP operators are in business to make profit and sustain employment, then cash collection must be digitised for transparency.
“If for example, you tell me that you have control of 45 per cent of this business, tell me what 100 per cent of the business is; these are some of the logical questions that demand answers,” Wahab said.
He charged the association to put in place proper data collation and enumeration of all commercial and private facilities being serviced to increase accountability and allow the operators to carry out their responsibilities seamlessly.
The commissioner said the government was aware that the PSP operators need some interventions but they must explain why the revenue being generated presently had dropped by 50 per cent within five years.
“When you had a surplus, did you increase the stake of the government? As such I reject the appeal to reduce the 25 per cent remit to LAWMA.
“I will not go that route except on two conditions: I want the enumeration of all the houses and digitise the number of household facilities across the state,” Wahab said.
He said the continuous increase in population with the corresponding increase in generation of waste necessitated the need for a major change in PSP daily operations.
Wahab added that the present costing was not sustainable in the light of growth to the economy.
“I think it is high time we sit down and thoroughly review the whole gamut of the PSP operations. The fact is that we must be able to speak the truth to one another as this will continually encourage the government to complement what the operators are doing,” Wahab said.
He stressed that the time has come for PSP Operators to create an online portal where GPS receivers are installed in their trucks to provide accurate locations always, including numbers of trips undertaken by each operator daily amongst other things.
“This portal will be accessible via internet connection on a range of devices, from desktop computers to feature phones regardless of location, age, or socio-economic status,” Wahab said.
He urged the PSP operators to be ready to confront issues of waste, saying there was an urgent need to continually clear waste across the metropolis, while a holistic solution was being worked out.
The statement also quoted the Special Adviser on Environment, Rotimi-Akodu, as saying that “the government understands that the state is faced with a solid waste management challenge as a result of urbanisation and population growth resulting in large tonnes of waste being generated daily.”
Rotimi-Akiodu said residents should expect an uplift in the city’s waste management system with the resumption of door-to-door residential waste collection by the PSP operators especially during the yuletide and after.
The statement also quoted the Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Mr Olalekan Shodeide, as underscoring the importance of PSP operators in employing technology and innovation to make things work better for all.
“This move is to reassure you that the government is set on a new beginning in order to consolidate what has been achieved. Everybody must work together for a floodfree and sustainable environment,” Shodeinde said.
The statement quoted the Managing Director of LAWMA, Dr Muyiwa Gbadegesin, as saying that there was the need to have a verifiable database to ascertain the size of the PSP businesses.
Gbadegesin appealed to the PSP operators to provide accurate data for all households so that the government would know those paying and those not.
The statement quoted AWAM President, Mr Olugbenga Adebola, as expressing appreciation to the state government for re-awakening the consciousness of residents to be more environmentally conscious.
He said AWAN members were committed and set to continually work with the state government having invested billions of naira in the project which had contributed a sizeable percentage to the economy of Lagos State.
He said that the PSP operators were operating under very tough business environment which is making it difficult for them to break even. (NAN)
November 13, 2023 @ 6:22 GMT|