The Lagos State Government says motorized trucks are now to sweep highways across the state rather than allow street sweepers to do the job, thus, endangering their lives.
Rather, the government said street sweepers were now to sweep streets in their communities instead of going to the busy highways to sweep and endanger their lives, under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI.
At a news conference on Tuesday, Executive Secretary, Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), a new agency put in place as a replacement for the former Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), Mrs Idowu Muhammed said it had been discovered in the past that street sweepers were knocked down by vehicles as they endangered their lives sweeping the expressways.
She said motorized trucks would now sweep the highways and that over 27,000 of the 30,000 sweepers that would be recruited would be made to sweep streets in their communities and be paid salaries above the N18,000 minimum wages.
Muhammed said the corps would now be used to police the highways to ensure that people did not dump refuse indiscriminately on the roads in order to ensure a cleaner Lagos.
“The sanitation corps are now to clear the pathways and bridges and dislodge people selling on the road and so on. They will make sure that the roads are clean and that there is no infraction. They will make sure that the Public Utility Levy is being paid by residents of Lagos State.
“Under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, 30,000 jobs will be created for sweepers. We have an agreement backed up by the Lagos State Government. Under the old waste management system, wastes are being collected, but the disposal mechanism is the problem,” she said.
Muhammed assured residents of the state that the new corps are to carry out their responsibilities with international best practices, noting that gone were the days when KAI officials engaged in a less civilised compartments and dispositions.
“We are out to serve the residents with all civility and decorum. Government’s aim is to provide and promote a cleaner and healthy environment, devoid of indiscriminate dumping of refuse and drainage blockade,” she said.
Managing Director, Solid Waste Management (SWM) Solutions, a consultant to the Lagos State government, Tolagbe Martins, while assuring the public of better days, as far as waste management was concerned, stated that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative was incomplete without effective enforcement and total compliance, where LAGESC was to play dominant roles.
“It should be realised that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative is to create an enabling environment for investment, with the passage of the law enabling private sector participation in the waste management a reality.
“Besides, it’s also the creation of Public Utility Levies (PUL) which is a property-based charge applicable to all properties within the state replacing all previous waste management levies,” Martins said, adding that it also involved creation of Public Utilities Monitoring and Assurance (PUMAU) to coordinate the PUL bill generation.
Also, Martins disclosed that the Lagos State Government had concessioned three Landfills under the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer, BOOT, for a period of 25 years, adding that this would take effect from next year.
She said pending the readiness of the three landfills, the government would make do with what was available now, but noted that the Olusosun dumpsite would be closed immediately the landfills were ready.