The Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said that the integrated waste management services contract recently sealed with Visionscape is targeted at ending the perennial flooding in the state.
He maintained that the overall objective of the new environmental policy of his administration encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) was basically to capitalize on the vantage position of Lagos.
He added that Lagos is the world’s highest producer of waste and by adopting a waste-to-wealth programme, it will help in tackling environmental challenges and growing the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The governor said, “Lagos is generating the highest waste per day in the world more than New York. Documented statistics show that Lagos is generating 13,000 metric tonnes of waste every day. New York is generating 10,000. So, if Lagos is generating 13,000 waste per day and you factor in the unmanned areas in Ayobo, Ijede and all that combined, Lagos will be generating maybe 16,000 tonnes per day. The business part of it is that we can easily turn the waste to wealth and so there is an unchartered economy in the waste business in Lagos”, He said.
“From our own vision, we believe strongly that this is one sure bet way to grow our GDP but there has been a total mismanagement of waste which has led us to review our legislation and introduce waste management reform in the State and that is why we have gone into the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).
“Through the initiative, one of the best known private sector companies in waste management is Visionscape and they are everywhere in the world. We have attracted them to Lagos and for us to do that in a period of recession speaks volume about how we are managing the State because for them, they believe that if they can conquer Lagos, it means that there is nothing about waste management that they cannot conquer, which is our own selling point also.”
He also said once the waste is properly evacuated, the firm would also facilitate the second level of waste management which is the turning of waste into wealth and other beneficial uses.
“You see, I live in Ikeja and each time I have to pass through Motorways, do you think I like what I see? That is not a land fill site in Olusosun, it is a dump site. The place is an eyesore and it is the first thing you see when you are coming into Lagos and that is not what you should see in a city that is globally competitive.”
“The impression that has been given is that Olusosun is a land fill site but the answer is no. It is not scientifically treated; you only allow compactors to go and drop waste in a living neighborhood. Who does that?
“It has been there for almost 30 years and nobody is looking at it but we are now looking at it. The truth is this, with the CLI, we have to shut down Olusosun dump site and part of the contract is that Visionscape will give us new land fill sites that are scientifically treated,” he explained.