Lagos State Environment and Water Resources Commissioner, Tokunbo Wahab and SA Environment, Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu over the weekend convened a meeting with PSP waste operators, harping on improved service delivery and transparency.
Addressing the executive of the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAM) during a meeting at Alausa, he noted that their modes of operations must be digitized to make it more transparent and profitable.
“Being aware that PSP operators are in business to make profit and sustain employment, then cash collection must be digitized for transparency. If for example, you tell me that you have 45% of this business, tell me what 100% of the business is, these are some of the logical questions that demand answers,” he said.
He added that the association should put in place proper data collation and enumeration of all commercial and private facilities being serviced as this process would increase accountability and allow the operators to carry out their responsibilities seamlessly for the benefit of all.
He said the government is aware that the PSP operators need some interventions but they must explain why the revenue being generated presently has dropped by 50% within 5 years
“When you had a surplus, did you increase the stake of the government? As such I reject the appeal to reduce the 25% remit to LAWMA. I will not go that route except on two conditions: I want the enumeration of all the houses and digitize the number of household facilities across the state”, he said.
He said the continuous increase in population with the corresponding increase in generation of waste has necessitated the need for a major change in PSP daily operations, adding that the present costing is not sustainable in the light of growth to the economy.
According to him, I think it is high time we have to sit down and thoroughly review the whole gamut of the PSP operations. The fact is that we must be able to speak the truth to one another as this will continually encourage the government to complement what the operators are doing”.
He added that the time has come for PSP Operators to create an online portal where the GPS receivers installed in their trucks provide accurate locations always including numbers of trips undertaken by each operator daily amongst other things.
“This portal will be accessible via internet connection on a range of devices, from desktop computers to feature phones regardless of location, age, or socio-economic status”, he said.
He urged the PSP operators to be ready to confront issue of waste, saying there was an urgent need to continually clear waste across the metropolis, while a holistic solution was being worked out.
The Special Adviser on Environment Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu noted that the government understands that the state is faced with a solid waste management challenge as a result of urbanization and population growth as such large tons of waste is generated daily
He said residents expect an uplift in the city’s waste management system with the resumption of door-to-door residential waste collection by the PSP operators during the yuletide and after.
The Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Olalekan Shodeide stated that it is important for PSP operators to employ technology and innovation to make things work better for all, stressing that PSP operators should embrace digitization as this will help with better service delivery.
“This move is to reassure you that the government is set on a new beginning in order to consolidate what has been achieved. Everybody must work together for a floodfree and sustainable environment”, he said.
Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Gaji Omobolaji Tajudeen Environment urged the PSP operators to redesign templates for the provision of their services so that their proficiency and efficiency can be measured.
He asked the association to put all their trucks in good conditions, saying if residents get better services from them they would pay without being forced.
According to the Managing Director of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, there is a need to have a verifiable database to ascertain the size of their businesses.
He appealed to the PSP operators to provide accurate data for all households so that the government would know those paying and those not.
In response, the President, Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAM), Mr. Olugbenga Adebola expressed appreciation to the State government for re-awakening the consciousness of residents to be more environmentally conscious.
He said AWAN members are committed and set to continually work with the state government having invested billions of naira in the project which has contributed a sizeable percentage to the economy of Lagos State.
At the end of the meeting, both parties agreed to reconvene and bring all options to the table towards agreeing on the best way forward.
Director Public Affairs
November 12, 2023