Lagos State Government has given reasons why VisionScape cannot effectively cart away refuse from streets in the state, as it blamed the 1999 constitution stand on devolution of power.
The State Government justification came as residents lament continued takeover of Lagos streets by refuse after it embarked on reform of waste management sector with introduction of Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI.
Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Babatunde Durosimi-Etti, who gave the justification on Wednesday while addressing residents on activities of the ministry in Last one year, hinted that plans have been concluded to establish three transfer loading stations, to reduce the turnaround time for compactor trucks.
“Visionscape came into Lagos to tackle waste challenges and they are not working alone. They are working with PSP operators. Visionscape has equipment and they are working to bring them into the country.
“But they are facing challenges that are beyond the state. Some of the challenge is to get import waiver that would allow them bring their equipments.
“Also, if one aims to bring in 100 compactor trucks, he cannot bring them in immediately. We need to understand the reality. And I know that you are aware of what goes on in the concurrent and exclusive list,” he added.
The commissioner stressed that the claims made by the company at inception were real and would be done soon.
The commissioner added that Lagos had entered a new dimension with the engagement so far of 13,958 Community Sanitation Workers who would now be supervised by the Ministry of the Environment for the sweeping of inner streets in the 377 political wards of Lagos State.
He explained that the ongoing reform in the sector, Waste Collector Operators (WCOs), otherwise known as the PSP operators, had now been charged with the responsibility of managing residential and general waste collection, while Visionscape Sanitation Solutions was henceforth mandated to implement waste management infrastructure development across the state.
Durosimi-Etti however said no fewer than 2,097 environmental offenders were arrested for violating the law within the year under review.
Harping on enforcement of Environmental Laws, he explained that Operatives of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) arrested a total number of Two thousand and ninety-seven (2,097) environmental offenders, comprising illegal street traders, hawkers, highway pedestrian defaulters, environmental nuisance polluters and cart-pushers.
According to him, 136 offenders were engaged in communal service across the metropolis while others were arraigned for prosecution in line with the law.