A civil society group, Greater Lagos Youths (GLY), on Tuesday faulted the call for the termination of a contract signed by the Lagos State Government with an environmental utility group, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, saying it was too early in the day to dismiss the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) as a failure.
GLY, which is an amalgamation of over 60 youths’ groups drawn from across the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas of Lagos State, said the call was not only misguided but hasty and irresponsible.
A group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), had asked the State Government to terminate the contract with Visionscape, alleging unsatisfactory handling of waste in the State.
But GLY, in a statement by its National President, Kayode Gbadamosi, condemned the position of the group, stating that it was pretending to serve the interest of the larger society, while in reality it was doing the hatchet job for it’s paymasters to service interests which were at variance with the health and sanity of Lagos State.
According to GLY, “Let it be placed on record that we are not fooled by the call from this group which is akin to the voice of Jacob but the hand of Esau because the breeze has blown and we have seen the rump of the fowl. Also, it is not unlikely that the resurgence of heaps of waste across the State is the handiwork of saboteurs who have now being complemented by the irrational call for its termination.
“For our information and education, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions is a tested and trusted environmental concern which has proved its mettle in its area of competence in over 13 countries across the globe, so what is this group talking about?”, GLY queried.
The group said the CLI was introduced to address the challenges in the environmental sector with the focus of aligning the State with top cities in the world having effective and efficient waste management system.
“It is a known fact that the former waste management system in Lagos was fraught with a lot of drawbacks that is not in sync with the status of the state as a mega city by the deployment of outdated and faulty compactors which were always breaking down; the short supply of personnel, etc. All these hindered efficient waste management system and constituted environmental hazards across the state.
“However, with the coming on board of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, we are beginning to witness a breath of fresh air in the waste management system through the transformation of waste transfer loading stations across the state, beginning with the Tapa Transfer Loading Station while the one in Oshodi is nearing completion. The Ogudu Waste Depot has been completed and the company is currently working on the Epe Landfill, which will be the first Engineered Sanitary Landfill in West Africa, among others.
“Under the CLI, there are provisions to collect, recycle and re-engineer waste in line with global best practices. Visionscape is deploying brand new compactors, waste bins and employing thousands of people in the waste management value-chain.
“Therefore, it is hasty, mischievous and irresponsible for any group to call for the cancellation of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions interventions in waste management system when it’s a fact that the challenges of the waste system on ground is not unusual in a transition period of change as promoters and beneficiaries of the old order will be resistant to change and will employ any means necessary to maintain the status quo,” GLY said.