There is no need for a prophet or soothsayer to predict the looming cholera epidemic in Lagos State as a result of dirty environment with heaps of refuse in the nooks and cranes of Lagos metropolis.
The pronouncement of the government to bring in foreign investors thereby sending the 350 PSP operators in partnership with LAWMA packing comes July, 2017 has been the hallmark of an executive with the fire of reforms in going ahead with 80% domestic for foreign investors, 20% for local investors with effect from 1st September, 2017.
Unfortunately, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has succeeded in creating confusion in the arena of waste disposal, contractors are yet to know their fate as the case is still pending in court for ruling. Because there was no proper consultation and no opportunities to engage alternative view points; just a unilateral announcement which has elicited an expected response, it then means that the governor is in a bid to satisfying his friends and political empire all in the name of adding value to the clean environment of Lagos State.
Let us imagine a bridge that is built to connect all the resources to keep Lagos clean which purpose is also to create job opportunities.
This bridge only succeeds in identifying the already known challenges peculiar to these refuse collectors and thus fails to help them.
The foreign investor by the name Visionscape was given red carpet treatment as against local investors [PSP] for instance; LAWMA’s corporate offices at Mushin, Ojodu, Oshodi, Simpson etc were taken from LAWMA by the government and given to a foreign company whereas the local investors [PSP] were compelled to borrow money from banks to build their offices/garages.
To this end, the Governor’s pronouncement on Cleaner Lagos Initiative could be termed a disservice to Lagosians and if not quickly addressed as a matter of top priority, the health of every Lagosian is being endangered with cholera epidemic. In fact, the governor should be advised not to stain or destroy the template his predecessors from 2nd Republic have built over the years of which he supposed to build on, particularly, for the good health of everybody living in Lagos, posterity and legacy.
Instead of a strong fixation on foreign investors, the Local investors [PSP] should be encouraged, too.
Engr. Sunday Alade writes from Lagos.