Gov Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, on Thursday, inaugurated the Awotan dumpsite on Akufo Road, as part of measures to improve waste/refuse management in Ibadan metropolis.
Speaking at the occasion, Makinde said the site, which had been upgraded to landfill, would provide job opportunities to some 3000 people.
The governor, who regretted the deteriorating condition of the dumpsite when he assumed office, said
it was intended to provide a lasting solution to residents of the community.
“We had two main choices when we were confronted with the issue of waste management in the state.
“Firstly, a quick fix, which could have happened sooner or a more complex one, secondly, a far-reaching solution which would take some time.
“The first choice would have provided temporary solution to the challenges, but we opted for the second, the result of which we are witnessing now.
“This option has put an end to all challenges associated with waste management.
“Those who live near this dumpsite would have continued to deal with the challenge of their ground water contamination thereby making their water unsafe to drink.
“The residents of this area would have continued to live with the bad odour coming from the dumpsite, the multiplier effect is that those who have property for rent around here would have a hard time letting them.
“But the completion of this project has ended all these challenges.”
The governor acknowledged the contribution of the former Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Late Kehinde Ayoola, whom he said, did all the plans and ground work for the success of the project.
He also commended the effort of the incumbent commissioner, Dr Idowu Oyeleke, for supervising the project to the end.
Makinde promised to rehabilitate the health centre in the community, maintaining that his administration was on the mission of providing a standard health care facility in all the 351 wards.
He also pledged that solar lights would be installed to make the environment more habitable for the residents of the area.
Earlier, Oyeleke said the project was a crucial part of the broad plan to reposition the state, especially Ibadan, the state capital.
He said the city needed to be an ideal metropolitan city free of dirt and filth.
Oyeleke said the desire of Makinde‘s administration was to modernise its solid waste management, to create a clean, green, and environmentally-friendly state.
He stated that the landfill would not only open doors of opportunities to residents of the state, but also serve as an excellent renewable energy source and generate hundreds of direct and indirect employment opportunities.
The commissioner said that that the project had bridged the sad gap of the 21st century urban waste transportation, by introducing the clean and green trucks through Private Partnership arrangement.
“The trucks are well equipped to evacuate refuse from the various collection points and safely transport same to the landfill, ” he said.
Oyeleke commended the governor for his commitment, support, supervision and prompt release of funds for the project.
The commissioner also thanked the Awotan community for their support to the State Government and PSP Waste Contractors throughout the execution of the project.
He, appealed to all house and facility owners in the state to complement the effort of the state government by promptly paying waste bills in order to achieve a safe, clean and healthy environment.
The Chief Executive Officer of Macpresse West African Limited, the contrator, Alhaji Idowu Salawu, said the project was of world-class standard.
Salawu commended Makinde for his foresight and initiative on the project.
In his remarks, the Alawotan of Awotan, Oba Dauda Omotosho, appreciated Makinde for making lives meaningful to all the residents of the community and creating a conducive environment for them.
The paramount ruler said that people of the community had never had it so good, as the Makinde-led administration had taken the dividends of democracy to their doorsteps.
Those present at the event include the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun; Head of Service, Mrs Ololade Agboola; former Oyo State Speaker, Sen.Monsurat Sunmonu; and Deputy Chief of Staff , Mr Abdul Majeed Mogbonjubola.