When the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Wednesday, signed the Environmental Management and Protection Bill into law, at the Lagos House in Ikeja, he explained what it means and how it would operate.
He said under the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, the commercial sector would be serviced by licensed waste management operators while an environmental consortium will provide waste collection, processing and disposal services for residential properties through a long term concession.
He said over the concession period, the consortium would be deploying a large multi-dimensional fleet of over 20 landfill and transfer loading station management vehicles, 590 new rear-end loader compactors, 140 Operational vehicles and close to 900,000 new bins to all be electronically tracked and monitored by our new unit PUMAU (Public Utilities Monitoring Assurance Unit) under the Ministry of Environment.
Governor Ambode also added that aside the fact that the initiative would create at least 27,500 jobs, the Community Sanitation Workers (CSW) who would be engaged will receive several incentives including tax reliefs and healthcare, life, injury and accident insurance benefits all aimed at tackling the issue of poverty and the chronic unemployment crisis.
“Everyone from the cart pushers to the existing PSPs and casual workers at the dumpsites have been considered in the plan and will be accommodated within the new environmental regime. In addition, we are extending opportunities to everyone along the value chain by working to create vocational training in the related areas through LASTVEB,” he said.
The Governor said that sanitation will now be a daily affair in the State while the CSWs would be deployed in every ward across the State.
He also said that an annual Public Utility Levy (PUL) would be introduced to replace all service fees previously paid to the Waste Management authorities, adding that the public was carried along in determining the rates, which according to him is relatively low.
“The PUL will be a major contribution to the State’s ongoing efforts to address severe challenges that are unique to Lagos because of rising urbanization. The money will be held in the Environmental Trust Fund and managed meticulously by a Board of SEC regulated trustees.