Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday, declared an emergency for the intensive evacuation of refuse on major roads, saying 8,500 street sweepers have been engaged out of the planned 27,500 street sweepers to ensure regular cleaning of the state.
The governor allayed the residents’ fears over the resurgence of waste in public places, assuring that the state government is on top of the situation and working round the clock to make it a thing of the past.
He added that more environmental law enforcement officers had been engaged for the task, disclosing that commercial waste economy in the state is over N12 billion, which needed to be catered for.
Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, after the inauguration of the new board of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), headed by a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police as Corps Marshal, Daniel Isiofia, Governor Ambode said the new waste management policy of government encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) was designed to address the challenges in the sector, and that all hands were already on deck to confront the initial hitches with the transition period.
He said adequate officials of LAGESC transformed from the former Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), have been employed to police all nooks and crannies of the state to curb indiscriminate dumping of waste and other acts inimical to clean, hygienic and sustainable environment.
Ambode, who was represented at the inauguration by his Special Adviser on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said concerted efforts were ongoing to clear the heaps of refuse across the metropolis, and assured that there would be marked improvement in the coming days.
He said: “As I speak to you now, we have established three new landfill sites across the state to reduce indiscrim- inate dumping of refuse in Lagos State.
Two Sites are in Epe and one in Badagry Local Government.
The sites are equipped with modern facilities that would ensure that the water body of the state isn’t polluted. “We need to understand that the revenue in the waste sector is huge.
“And that is why we have decided to launch commercial waste initiative in the next few weeks.
The commercial waste economy is over N12 billion and we need to cater for this sector.” He added: “We are all living witnesses to the restructuring we are trying to do in the environmental sector.
That restructuring culminat ed in the introduction of CLI, which is focused at ensuring that the way we clean Lagos is comparable to what is being done in first class cities in the world.
On his part, Isiofia thanked the governor Ambode for the opportunity to serve the people, assuring that his men will hit the ground running in line with the mandate to keep the State clean.