The Lagos State House of Assembly has asked private sector partnership (PSP) operators to resume refuse collection and disposal with immediate effect.
The governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode had disengaged the PSP operator last year following the introduction of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, through the Visionscape Sanitation Solution Limited.
But Mudashiru Obasa, speaker of the state house of assembly at plenary on Thursday, asked chairmen of all the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas (LCDAs) of the state to mobilise PSP operators back to the streets.
“We are calling on the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs in the state 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,” he said.
“We have to avoid epidemics and be proactive.”
Earlier, Gbolahan Yishawu, chairman, house committee on budget and economic planning, had raised a motion on sanitation.
Yishawu said there were several heaps of refuse on Lagos roads, adding that this was not the case when the PSP operators were in charge.
He said the state government had bought some of the PSP trucks as not all of them were working.
“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,” he said.
“The sanitary landfill 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 landfill sites should be operated properly.”
Sanai Agunbiade, majority leader of the house, echoed Yishawu’s thought, saying heaps of refuse were even “worse” in Ikorodu.
According to him, even though a law on environmental sanitation was passed in the state to maintain its cleanliness, the law had not been followed to the letter.
He called for a policy change in refuse disposal.
“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,” he said.
“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 invite 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.”
Bisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho constituency 1, said Visionscape was not thorough in its the job, urging the house to look at the situation “critically and urgently”.
After giving the directive to chairmen of the 20 local governments and 36 LCDAs, Obasa also asked Azeez Sanni, a clerk in the house to invite Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti , commissioner for environment, to appear before the house in furtherance of his directive.
The speaker said the house should have approved the new refuse disposal policy of the government before Visionscape took over from the PSP operators.
“We insist that we don’t know anything about Visionscape because we were not consulted before they started work,” he said.
“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.”