The Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAN) on Thursday pleaded with the Lagos State House of Assembly to protect their investments as they deliberate on the passage of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative policy into law.
The executive bill which is entitled “Bill for Law to Provide for the Management, Protection and Sustainable Development of the Environment in Lagos State and for other Connected Purposes,’’ is to replace the monthly sanitation in the state.
A public hearing on the bill is ongoing.
The waste managers claimed that about 2,500 people might lose their means of livelihood if the new sanitation policy scales through the House.
Addressing newsmen, Taju Ekemode, the spokesman for the over 200 protesters, said the new government policy, which ceded evacuation of 80 per cent of wastes in Lagos to foreign investors, would destroy their investments.
Waste Cleaners storm Lagos State House of Assembly complex
Ekemode added that they decided to visit the Lagos Assembly to tell the lawmakers their feelings and what they might suffer if the Cleaner Lagos Initiative of the current executive is passed into law.
“We have been doing this job for years, and there have been no problems. The government’s plan to organise foreign firms to come and clean Lagos is absurd; we cannot agree to that,” said Ekemode.
He further said, they were not against the reform but the policy directing them to leave the streets as he said allowing foreign firms to take over will kill businesses.
He noted that the governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, directed that PSP should be cleaning commercial places.
But, according to him, the percentage of commercial centres in Lagos is just about 20 compared to what is being ceded to foreign investors.
The spokesman, who is also the vice president of the union, maintained that many Lagos residents owed PSP operators much debts, and that areas allocated to them would be inadequate for the about 350 operators.
However, the state government had said that the initiative became necessary due to challenges inherent in the environmental laws of the state.