- Lagos Defends Foreign Firms in Waste Disposal
Lagos State Government said that Private Sector Participation – PSP -operators would not lose business to foreign firms that would be involved in waste management.
Involvement of foreign firms in waste management in the state was proposed by the executive arm under Cleaner Lagos Initiative which is part of the Environmental Management, Protection and Sustainable Development Bill, 2017.
The state Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Babatunde Adejare, gave the assurance in Lagos at a public hearing on the bill.
The commissioner was reacting to protests earlier on Thursday by some of tbe operators over the bill.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos State House of Assembly cut short its seven-week recess on Feb. 6 to consider the bill that seeks to harmonise all environmental laws in the state.
PSP operators had stormed the Assembly, saying that the proposed law would kill their investment.
They claimed that only 20 per cent of the state waste volume would be left for 350 of PSP operators to manage while 80 per cent would be given to foreigners.
Adejare said: “LAWMA (Lagos State Waste Management Authority) is the only authority by law to cart away wastes, not these licencees (PSP). They are contractors to LAWMA and they have a contract that has expired in May/June 2016.
“We also recognise that LAWMA, by using PSP, has done well in the past.
‘‘But as it is today, about 80 people come into Lagos per hour, only 10 leave per hour, so we have a retention of 70 per hour.
“Each person generates waste, and the state now has about 26 million people. We are generating above 13 metric tonnes of waste per day.”
The official said that the state could no longer cope with the existing waste disposal system.
‘‘We are not sending the 350 PSP operators out of business. Even the most lucrative part of the business which is commercial ceded to them.
“Less than 200 of the 350 operators are capable. There are proof, it is either they don’t have compactors again or they are moribund.
‘‘We see some of them (compactors) on our roads broken down.
“We have over 10, 000 commercial interests in Lagos for only 350 operators. If we divide that, an operator will still have about 33 of those commercial interests to himself.
“We have added some other things for them, such as markets, we have gone forward to tell banks to fund any of our licencees.”
The commissioner said that the state government was particular about cleaner, flood-free and beautiful Lagos.
“There is nobody that is going to lose his or her job because of what we are doing. The consortiums, who are both Nigerians and foreigners will also engage Nigerians.”
He said that the government had been supporting the operators by giving compactors, stressing that the government`s new policy was in the best interest of the public.
Adejare said that the state needed funds and technology to take the waste management to the next level which could only be got by Public Private Partnership (PPP).
He said that the initiative would create employment for 27, 500 sanitation workers.
Earlier, the Chairman, House Committee on Environment, Mr Dayo Saka-Fafunmi, said that the bill would ensure a better living standard for the average Lagosian.
“The bill takes care of every need of the environment. What we are looking at is to ensure we have a cleaner Lagos and a very beautiful environment.
“The way to do this is by bringing best practices.
“The innovations in the bills have never been seen in any environmental law in Nigeria.
“We have been able to allay fears and assure all that the intention of the government is to have a cleaner Lagos and an environment that will be friendly,” Saka-Fafunmi said.
Meanwhile, stakeholders at the public hearing described the bill as apt, saying that it did not only have environmental benefits but also contained health and economic benefits.
Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President
Mali’s interim president, Bah Ndaw, chosen to head a transitional government following a coup last month, was sworn in during ceremonies in the capital Bamako on Friday, AFP journalists witnessed.
A committee appointed by the junta which seized power on August 18, toppling President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, selected Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, as interim president.
Ndaw is due to lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.
Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.
The ceremony on Friday took place in a theatre filled with officials dressed in military fatigues, senior judges, and foreign diplomats.
During the ceremony, Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor Boya Dembele said the challenges facing both men were “enormous”.
“It will truly require a reformulation of the state,” said the judge, dressed in red fur-lined robes.
The swearing-in comes as the fragile Sahel state’s neighbours have leaned on the military junta to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister.
The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on the poor country on August 20 to push for a swift return to civilian rule.
A decision by the bloc on whether to ease the measure is possible on Friday, according to former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan.
“We are optimistic that this event will signal the beginning of the return to normalcy in Mali,” he said on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the swearing in of interim-government leaders.
Last month’s coup followed weeks of mass protests against Keita, spurred by frustrations over a brutal jihadist conflict, perceived corruption and the country’s slumping economy.
Mali has struggled to quell an eight-year-old Islamist insurgency which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.
Imo State Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery
Uzodinma Bans Traffic Agents, Task Forces Over Bribery
The Executive Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, has restricted all traffic agents and task forces from operating in the state over bribery and extortions.
Declan Emelumba, the state commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed this at the Government House in Owerri on Thursday.
Checks revealed that the task force team that operates from Heroes’ Square still demands as much as N27,000 fines from people arrested. A shocking situation that has plunged the limited resources of hardworking Imo people.
However, the information commissioner, who described the task force as “illegal”, said the state government has sanctioned its personnel.
Emelumba said, “The governor has since banned all traffic agents and task forces in line with the desire of the people.”
FG Puts Nine-year Presidential Jet Up For Sale
The Federal Government has put up for sale a jet in the presidential fleet, Hawker 4000 aircraft with registration number, 5N-FGX/: RC 066.
The business-size jet which entered into service in December 2011, has capacity for nine passengers and three crew members.
Findings indicate that only 73 Hawker 4000 aircraft were manufactured by Hawker Beechcraft between 2001 and 2013 and they were sold for $22.91m each as of 2012.
The FG in a published advert on Wednesday disclosed that the aircraft with a range of 3,190-nautical mile had flown for 1,768 hours.
It said the aircraft could be inspected at the Presidential Air Fleet’s hangar located at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Interested buyers were requested to submit their closed bid to the Chairman, Committee for Sale of Aircraft, Office of the National Security Adviser, care of Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
In an advertisement published in some national dailies on Wednesday, prospective buyers were directed to submit a refundable bank draft for $50,000 to the committee with the bid.
It also said that all the bids should be quoted in dollars.
The notice read, “Please note that all bids must be submitted within one week of this publication.
“Background check is required as a pre-qualification for the bid. Prospective bidders who want to inspect the aircraft will be granted access within one week from this advertisement.”
The Presidency had similarly in 2016 put up for sale two presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7X executive jet and Hawker 4000, in line with the directive of the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), that aircraft in the Presidential Air Fleet should be reduced to cut down on waste.
The government also said some aircraft in the fleet would be handed over to the Nigeria Air Force for its operations. It could not be confirmed if this had been done.
According to the Presidency, the PAF has 10 aircraft and they include Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-800 or Air Force One), one Gulfstream 550, one Gulfstream V (Gulfstream 500), two Falcons 7X, one Hawker Sidley 4000, two AgustaWestland AW 139 helicopters and two AgustaWestland AW 101 helicopters.
Reports said each of the two Falcon 7X jets were purchased in 2010 for $51.1m, while the Gulfstream 550 costs $53.3m.
The Senior Special Assistant, (Media and Publicity) to the President, Garba Shehu, had yet to respond to inquiries on the number of presidential aircraft sold so far, as of the time of filing this report.
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