Lagos State House Of Assembly
The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday charged local government executives in the state to call on the Private Sector Partnership (PSP) operators in their areas to resume picking up refuse.
The House denied knowledge of the Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Ltd, which was currently doing the task of collecting refuse in the state.
The resolution followed an urgent matter of public importance raised by Mr Gbolahan Yishawu, the Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning over heaps of refuse scattered all over the state.
Yishawu, who said that there were several heaps of refuse on Lagos roads, added that the refuse were not as it used to be because some PSP were working and the state government had bought some trucks.
“Some refuse are being taken to Epe and Ikorodu but these places are a bit far now.
“We used to dump the refuse in Olusosun, but the place was gutted by fire. We can give the place to private companies.
“The sanitary land fill in Epe is not being utilised and the transfer loading stations too are not working effectively with the turn around time of collecting the refuse not being utilised.
“It is not all the PSP operators that are working. Maybe we can recall the PSP Operators and reopen Olusosun and the land fill sites should be operated properly,” he said.
The Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that heaps of refuse were worse in Ikorodu.
According to him, for the state to have good sanitation, a law on environmental sanitation was passed in the state which, he said, seemed not properly done after.
“The refuse on the roads and on the streets are hazardous to the people. Flies from the refuse perch on the food people are eating exposing to health hazards.
“One day, Olusosun will not be able to accommodate refuse any longer. It will be better if we can change our policy on refuse disposal.
“I will suggest that we should invited the people in the Ministry of Health and those in the Ministry of the Environment to know their challenges.
“The refuse situation has become an eyesore in Lagos State. We should invite the people in charge,” Agunbiade said.
Also, Mr Bisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho Constituency 1, who observed that Visionscape did not know the job, urged the House to look at the situation critically and urgently.
The lawmakers took turns to decry the poor state of refuse management across the state.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, gave directive to Chairmen of the 20 local governments and 36 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to engage PSP operators to resume full operations.
Obasa also directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to invite the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti to appear before the House on the matter next week.
He said the Lagos State Government did not know anything about Visionscape.
According to him, there are three arms of government — the Legislature, Executive and Judiciary — and the executive arm ought to have consulted with the House on Visionscape before engaging the company.
“We insist that we don’t know anything about Visionscape because we were not consulted before they started work.
“We once wrote the Commissioner for Finance, Mr 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 government.
“We will go to that when the time comes but we have to do the needful now.
“We call on the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs 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,” Obasa said.
Obasa cautioned those stopping people from dumping refuse at the dumpsites to desist from doing so, adding that he saw a lot of refuse trucks in a bad state while some had been abandoned.
The Speaker said that the House ought to have approved the new refuse disposal policy of the government before Visionscape started work.
“We are inviting the Commissioner for the Environment to come and report to us within one week.
“The Clerk should write all the local councils in the state to do the needful and the Commissioner for the Environment should work on this and report to us in a week,” he said.