By Austine Uche Ejeke
In recent times the story of refuse collection and disposal in Lagos has not been palatable and edifying. Reason being that for a greater part of 2017 virtually all the streets of Lagos was encumbered with loads of refuse. From Ajegunle to Ikotun to Agege to Oshodi to Isolo to Lagos Island the story and situation were the same. Heaps of refuse on dustbin depots was the order of the day as it even spilled over to major roads of Lagos!
This nearly plunged Lagos State into its hitherto first position of the dirtiest city in the world. Of course, one of the resultant effects was breeding of rats and other dangerous rodents that caused outbreak of laser fever and other communicable diseases.
Feelers that was gotten was that plans were in the pipeline to effect changes in arrangement of refuse collection and disposal in the state.
From explanations from highly placed sources of Lagos State government is showing that the previous arrangements of using various Private Sector Players (PSP) refuse collectors to a more centrally controlled company that the Lagos state government will pay and device a means whereby every Lagos residents will now pay for the services of refuse disposal in the state!
The bone of contention and questions being asked by pundits is their quest to understand the rationale behind stopping the PSP firms in refuse collection and disposal. Their argument is predicated on the fairness and place of people that have established their businesses in refuse collection and disposal by way of buying trucks and equipment. They erected offices and have hundreds of workers.
Granted as explained that the new Lagos initiative on refuse disposal is going to create about 25000 jobs, but a conservative estimate of companies operating under former PSP may have almost the same number of staff, if not more than the 25,000 both directly and indirectly. What happens to them. Will they be thrown into the labour market? What happens to their investment. Will it just go down the drain? Or is there any arrangement to coopt them in the new initiative of refuse disposal in Lagos?
Whatever be the case what Lagos residents want is prompt, effective and efficient refuse disposal in the state. There should be no excuse as dereliction of duty on clearing Lagos of refuse will have disastrous consequences on the city and its residents!
*Austine Uche Ejeke, publisher and editor-in-chief AGENDA community newspaper and public affairs Analyst wrote vide firstname.lastname@example.org
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