Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday assured residents over the resurgence of waste on major highways and streets, assuring that his government is working to make it a thing of the past.
Speaking at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja after inaugurating the new board of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) headed by a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police as Corps Marshal, Daniel Isiofia, Ambode said the new waste management policy of government encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) was designed to address the challenges in the sector.
He said enough officials of LAGESC have been employed to curb indiscriminate dumping of waste and other acts inimical to clean, hygienic and sustainable environment.
Ambode, who was represented at the inauguration by his Special Adviser on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said efforts were ongoing to clear the heaps of refuse across the metropolis, and assured that there would be marked improvement in coming days.
He said: “We are all living witnesses to the restructuring we are trying to do in the environmental sector. That restructuring culminated in the introduction of CLI which is focused at ensuring that the way we clean Lagos is comparable to what is being done in first class cities in the world.
“As a result, we are changing the way environment in Lagos is being managed and to help us to achieve that, this Sanitation Corp is important. But more importantly now is to speak to the fact that yes, we are having some challenges in the area of waste management in Lagos today. We all live in Lagos but I want to reaffirm that we are doing everything to ensure that this becomes a thing of the past.”
The Governor, who recalled similar challenges in the State in 1999 under the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, expressed optimism in the workability of the new initiative, saying that the challenges with the teething stages would soon be over.
“But beyond the fact that we are clearing waste, the CLI is also ensuring that we have landfill sites not dumping sites but landfill sites where the waste we are generating in Lagos can be recycled, re-engineered and also resold so that we can create wealth and a new business for Lagosians to tap into.”
Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris said the new environmental initiative became imperative after a review of the old system.
Idris, who said there was correlation between environment and health, particularly urged LAGESC to efficiently and effectively perform its duty, just as he underscored the need for the people to support government.
“All of us have a role to play in keeping Lagos healthy because there is a connection between health, environment and security,” Idris said.
Isiofia thanked Ambode for the opportunity to serve, assuring that his men will hit the ground running in line with the mandate to keep the State clean.
He said though the starting point may be difficult but assured that every efforts would be made to change the face of Lagos for good.