By Kunlere Idowu
Waste operators in Lagos popularly referred to as Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators have a new hero in the Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, who has instructed the State waste management utility (LAWMA, Lagos State Waste Management Authority) to henceforth hands off waste bills matters including receiving payment from residents in the State for waste services rendered by PSP operators.
Instead of the former practice where residents pay LAWMA after which LAWMA then reimburses PSP operators 60 per cent of the total bills collected, LAWMA is now to ensure that residents fully and promptly remit their waste bills, 100 per cent, directly to the PSP operators.
This new policy which was part of the waste management reforms the State government had promised was announced by the management of LAWMA on Thursday January 26, 2017 at the opening session of a three-day training workshop at Lekki, Eti-Osa Local Government Area, Lagos State with the theme “Reformed waste management in Lagos State: The role of LAWMA.” The workshop was organized for officials of the State waste management agency.
Mr. Segun Adeniji, General Manager of LAWMA stated that waste generation in the State had increased to 14, 000 metric tons daily and about 420, 000 metric tons monthly, however, he added that the last festive period saw waste evacuation increase to over 35, 000 metric tonnes daily. He blamed the increase in waste generation in the State on the geometric population increase the State continues to witness. In spite of the huge amount of wastes evacuated daily by PSPs in the State, Mr. Adeniji added that significant amounts of waste generated are still not being evacuated for various reasons.
On his part, Mr. Olumuyiwa Adejokun, Chairman of LAWMA, informed the public that the ongoing waste management reforms would hasten the passage of the Waste Management Bill, which according to him is already before the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Industry watchers say this unprecedented move by the State government of untangling LAWMA from waste billing issues is extra motivation to the PSP operators and would make the State waste regulator, LAWMA, more effective as it can now optimally concentrate on its core mandate of regulation waste of collection and management in the State.
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