By Dipo Olowookere
To ensure the success of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) as an extensive and sustainable waste management system, the Lagos State Government has sought partnership with the private sector.
Commissioner for Environment, Dr Babatunde Adejare, while speaking at the Cleaner Lagos Initiative investors’ roundtable in Victoria Island on Thursday, maintained that the partnership had become necessary for people to become more responsive and protective in respect of issues relating to their environment.
Mr Adejare said CLI had been designed to harness the great potentials and economic capacity of Lagos by creating an enabling environment for non-governmental agencies, the private sector and the government to harness international best practices in the vital area of infrastructure.
The Commissioner stressed that both the public and private sectors can work together to achieve a common good.
His words, “Today’s roundtable is just one example of the way in which the public and private sectors can work together effectively for a common good. It is expected that working together, we can begin to shift the attitude of the people to be more responsive/protective of their environment through stringent legislation, enlightenment campaigns and strict enforcement.”
Mr Adejare told the investors that for the initiative to succeed there was the need to have a sustainable long-term funding at both the State and Local Government levels to support the efforts needed to reach the State’s goals, stressing that meeting these goals was critical to ensure continued process, development and economic growth.
While maintaining that government had budgetary constraints to fund its activities, the Commissioner informed that, “budgetary constraints and an acknowledgement of private sector efficiencies and know-how were two principal reasons why this administration had taken the economic and political decision to accelerate the use of private sector finance and adopt a Public Private Partnership model in order to deliver solid waste management infrastructure”.
He said that to fund these reforms as a whole, the government had come up with is the Public Utility Levy (PUL) which is a subsidized property-based charge designed to pay for these and other environmental interventions.
“The PUL will be a major contribution to the State’s ongoing efforts to address severe challenges that are unique to Lagos as a result of rising urbanization,” he said.
He maintained further that the money would not be paid into government accounts but would be held in the Environmental Trust Fund (ETF) and managed meticulously by an independent Board of Trustees.
The Commissioner reaffirmed confidence in the competence and capacity of the concessionaires to transform the landscape through the provision of the Transfer Loading Stations, Waste Depots and the provision of Engineered Sanitary Landfills, as well track-able waste bins and over 500 compactors of varying sizes and capacity.
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