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Lagos Assembly Moves To Empower LAWMA – Sweetloaded
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Stakeholders in the environment sector in Lagos State on Thursday lauded the state House of Assembly for proposing an amendment to the Environmental law to empower the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).

The stakeholders gave the commendation at a One-Day Public Hearing on “A Law to Amend the Environmental Management and Protection Law, 2017,” organised by the House Committee on the Environment, headed by Mr Dayo Saka-Fafunmi (APC-Ifako-Ijaiye I).

According to the stakeholders, such step is apt and timely to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment in the state following the failure of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative.

Mr Olugbenga Adebola, an Environmentalist said:

“I will like to commend the proactive Lagos State House of Assembly members for this amendment.

“For a long part of 2016 and 2017, we had a big issue in the environment family. It is good that more power be given to LAWMA as the regulator. I hope LAWMA would be able to manage this. I commend the House.”

Adebola urged the House not to jettison the private sector in the board’s constitution and looked into cost recovery level, and enforcement.

Mr Kadiri Shamusideen, a safety expert, who also commended the House for the amendment, called for efforts on the health and safety of PSP operators in the field.

Shamusideen, Executive Director, Safety Advocacy and Empowerment Foundation, decried various unsafe practices of the operators on the highways, trucks and dump sites, which was corroborated by another expert, Mr Adegbenro Adu.

Mr Olalekan Owojori, a Consultant to PSP, who noted that waste management was service-oriented, called the House to look into how money for the services rendered by the operators would get to them.

Owojori, who frowned at PSP depending on government bureaucracy before getting money for the services provided, called for a system that would allow the service providers to collect their.

Mr Adedotun Oriowo, a PSP operator, said:

“I salute the House for the impeccable sense of responsibility. We are here to right some wrongs of the outgoing Lagos State government.

“The Cleaner Lagos Initiative distorted waste management operations in Lagos State. It should be expunged from waste management in Lagos State.”

In his contribution, Mr Ola Oresanya, the Chief Executive Officer of LAWMA, said: “If the law is wrong, everything will be wrong.

“I want to thank the Chairman of the committee for this painstaking effort to correct the wrong. The intendment of this amendment is genuine and germane,”

he said.

According to Oresanya, the authority will submit a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), especially on the functions of Public Utilities Monitoring and Assurance Unit (PUMAU) bothering on waste management and revenue collection.

Mr Idowu Salau, a Consultant with the Federal Government on Waste Management, who commended the House, harped on cost recovery and identified user charge system and property charge system.

In his comment, Mr Ola Egbeyemi, President of the Association of Waste Managers (AWAN) thanked the House “for this noble gesture.”

“We have good laws but those laws are found ineffective because of enforcement. We should thank the lawmakers for revisiting this controversial law that have actually caused a lot of retrogression,” Egbeyemi said.

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Committee, Saka-Fafunmi said that extant law passed in 2017 could not meet expectations as discovered during impact assessment analysis.

“We cannot have a law that is not serving the interest of Lagos and that is why we propose several amendments. The amendment essentially bothers more on LAWMA law.

“As at when the law was made, we were looking at having a concessionaire-an operator that will take over the waste management of Lagos.

“No sooner had the law was passed we realised that it was not something that could stand the test of time here. We have decided to revert back to our ways of doing it.

“That is why we are empowering the PSP and every other stakeholder in environment. We must empower LAWMA and take away concessionaire,”

he said.

Over viewing, the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade said that the proposed amendment affected only 48 sections of the 526-section extant law.

Agunbiade said that the House had a penchant to monitor laws passed and conducts impact assessment and whenever a shortcoming was noticed, an amendment would be sought to make it conform to realities.

Earlier, in his keynote address, the Speaker of the House, Mr Mudashirun Obasa, represented by his deputy, Mr Waaiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, said that the intention of the House was to improve the environment and make waste management in Lagos State seamless.

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Atiku Raises Loud Alarm On Prevalence Of Poverty In Nigeria

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday said the recent report by the United Nations Development Programme, published on July 11, which said that over 98 million Nigerians were living in multi-dimensional poverty, was frightening.

He said the report indicated that poverty had become the fastest growing venture in Nigeria over the last four years.

The former Vice President, in a statement by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, said there was an urgent and compelling need for institutions of the Nigerian state to understand that it was an appalling dereliction of duty to stand idly by and allow misery multiply in the populace.

According to him, this was no longer a grassroots problem.

“The failure of our economy over the last four years affects everyone from top to bottom. Four years ago, Aliko Dangote, Nigeria’s richest man, was worth $25bn. However, his net worth in 2019 is less than half that. He joined thousands of industrialists whose wealth and their ability to produce, had eroded in recent years, and continue to do so.
“With the National Bureau of Statistics reporting a net job loss of over six million since 2015, we see that if industrialists have their wealth eroding, it affects their ability to create opportunities, which means that the trickle-down effect gradually dries.”
Atiku stated that the greatest national security threat Nigeria faced in 2019 was not Boko Haram/ISWAP or bandits but the ‘creation of the largest wave of poverty in human history in the country.’
He warned that the world was noticing, hence Foreign Direct Investment was shifting from Nigeria to Ghana, making Ghana the top recipient of FDI in West Africa in the last year.

He said, “And in the wake of this report by the UNDP, we are greeted with nonchalance by those who led us into this crisis. It is as though they think that as long as they and their families are not amongst those 98 million extremely poor Nigerians, things can carry on as before.

“But that cannot be allowed to be the case. Those who have the ability, including the Council of State, all former leaders, elder-statesmen, and especially the other arms of government, must begin to collaborate for solutions before the number increases from 98 million to all 198 million Nigerians.

“We must remember that we are stakeholders in the Nigerian project; stakeholders who must speak up for those 98 million people who are losing their voices to poverty.”

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