By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Ebun Sessou
The Lagos State House of Assembly has ordered the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state to call on the Private Sector Partnership (PSP) operators in their areas to go back to refuse collection and disposal with immediate effect.
Recall that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had earlier disengaged most of the PSP from operating in the state following the introduction of a new environmental initiative, through the Visionscape Sanitation Solution Limited.
Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, who gave this directive Thursday, on behalf of the lawmakers during plenary, also ordered the Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni to invite the Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti to appear before the House on the matter next week.
This followed an urgent matter of public importance raised by Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti-Osa Constituency 1l on heaps of refuse scattered all over the state.
The speaker stressed that the Lagos State Government does not know about Visionscape.
Obasa stated that there are three arms of government, including legislative, executive and judiciary, and that the state government ought to have consulted the House on Visionscape before they started operation.
He said: “We insist that we don’t know anything about Visionscape because we were not consulted before they started work.
“We once wrote the Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Akinyemi Ashade not to pay Visionscape again and he would return any money he paid to them after our instruction to the coffers of the state government. We will go to that, when the time comes, but we have to do the needful now.
“We are calling on the 20 local governments and 37 LCDAs in the state 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.”
The Speaker also warned those stopping people from dumping refuse at the dumpsites to desist from doing so, adding that he saw a lot of refuse trucks in a bad state and that some of them have been abandoned.
Obasa insisted that the House ought to have approved the new refuse disposal policy of the state government before Visionscape started work.
“We are inviting the Commissioner for the Environment to come and report to us within one week. The Clerk should write all the local councils in the state to do the needful and the Commissioner for the Environment should work on this and report to us in a week,” he said.