The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday mandated local government executives in the state to call on the Private Sector Partnership (PSP) operators in their areas to resume picking up refuse.
Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of the state, had disengaged the PSP operators last year and introduced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, through the Visionscape Sanitation Solution Limited, in their stead.
However, on Thursday, the House denied knowledge of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Ltd.
The resolution to recall the PSP operators followed an urgent matter of public importance raised by Gbolahan Yishawu, Chairman of House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, over heaps of refuse scattered all over the state.
Yishawu complained about the several heaps of refuse on Lagos roads, saying: “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.
“The sanitary land fill in Epe is not being utilised and the transfer loading stations too are not working effectively, with the turnaround 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 land fill sites should be operated properly,.”
Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader of the House, said that heaps of refuse were worse in Ikorodu.
Agunbiade argued that for the state to have good sanitation, a law on environmental sanitation was passed in the state, but things have not been properly done since then.
“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.”
Also, Bisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho Constituency 1, observed that Visionscape lacks the competence to do the job, and urged the House to look at the situation critically and urgently.
The lawmakers took turns to decry the poor state of refuse management across the state.
In his ruling, Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker of the House, directed to Chairmen of the 20 local governments and 36 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) to engage PSP operators to resume full operations.
Obasa also directed Azeez Sanni, the Clerk of the House, to invite the Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, to appear before the House on the matter next week.
He said the Lagos State Government does not know anything about Visionscape, lamenting that the executive did not consult with other arms of government before engaging Visionscape.
“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