By Godwin Oritse
RESIDENTS and commuters in Apapa can now heave a sigh of relief as APM Terminals Apapa, in partnership with the Lagos State Waste Management Agency, LAWMA, has embarked on a cleanup exercise to clear the heaps of refuse dumps littering the Apapa-Wharf Road and its environs.
The staff of APM Terminals Apapa; Port Manager of Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Mrs. Fumilayo Olotu; Controller, Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Muhammed Abba-Kura; and the Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Mr. Adele Owolabi; all participated in the event.
Speaking shortly after the exercise was flagged off on Wharf Road last Thursday, the Managing Director of APM Terminals, Apapa, Mr. Martin Jacob, said the Apapa clean-up initiative was part of the company’s 2019 annual ‘Go Green’ campaign aimed at creating awareness on environmental degradation and encouraging sustainable waste disposal practices.
Martin, while expressing the company’s commitment to a cleaner port environment, charged port users to put an end to the indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the port access road.
He said: “We can complain about what is happening but nothing will change if people don’t change their attitude. So we need to forget the past and focus on what to do to make a difference and achieve a sustainable clean port environment. We, as a corporate organization, will help as much as we can to make sure that happens.”
The Apapa Port Manager, Mrs. Fumilayo Olotu, who described the heaps of refuse in Apapa as an eyesore, said all hands must be on deck to restore the lost glory of the port city.
She said: “Apapa used to be a place of pride in those days, so activities around the port community should not make us lose the heritage we had in the past. We have discussed the need to partner with the local government to maintain the cleanness of our environment. We must engage the truckers and in their own language so that they have a buy-in and key into the project so that the heaps of refuse do not return.”
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Adele Owolabi, applauded APM Terminals for coming up with the initiative to clear the refuse dumps, which have littered the ports environs for months.
He said the heaps of refuse on the port access roads had remained a major challenge for the local government, even as he appealed to other corporate organizations to take a cue from APM Terminals.
Owolabi added: “We appreciate the gesture by APM Terminals and we encourage everyone around to do same thing. It is a right step in the right direction giving back to the community by evacuating the refuse. It should be sustainable and in sustaining it, there should be sensitization and advocacy campaign to these truck drivers and motor boys against throwing wastes on the road.
“We need the collaboration of every corporate organization within Apapa. By the time we come together and everybody contributes their own quota, we will make a uniform force for the community.”
Executive Director of LAWMA, Ibrahim Ojuboni, while calling for the sustainability of the clean-up exercise, also lauded APM Terminals for the initiative, urging other corporate organizations to emulate such gesture.
The theme of the 2019 APM Terminals “Go Green” campaign is “Building partnerships for a sustainable future”.