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Waste Managers Lament Refuse on Lagos Roads

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  • Waste Managers Lament Refuse on Lagos Roads

The waste crisis in Lagos State has become unprecedented with increased volume of garbage on the streets, roads, highways and median, almost taking the state back to 1999 when waste was competing with vehicles and pedestrians, the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria has said.

The association, an umbrella body of Private Sector Participants in waste management in Lagos, said the situation had become so alarming that it called for concerted efforts from the government, all stakeholders and the entire residents of the state.

In a letter addressed to the Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; and the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, dated December 21, 2017, the association described the situation as a crisis that required urgent attention.

The Lagos State Government had in June 2017 introduced the Sanitation Intervention Programme to address the challenge of refuse littering some parts of the state during the transition to the new solid waste management system known as the Cleaner Lagos Initiative.

According to the government, the intervention programme became necessary to ensure that no stone is left unturned in the effort to achieve a clean and hygienic state, and to also discourage indiscriminate dumping of refuse in places such as Ojuwoye, Mushin, Eti-Osa, Agege, Alimosho, Ojo, Ikeja, Badagary, Oshodi-Isolo, Lagos Island and Lagos Mainland, among others.

But rather than achieve its aim, the programme, according to AWAM, has only encouraged residents to dump their wastes on the roads with the expectation that the government will cart them away.

“This programme has escalated the waste management problems in the state. The Ministry of the Environment introduced it as a short-term measure that has now turned to an inconsistency in government policy of house-to-house waste collection, making it totally counter-productive,” AWAM said in the letter signed by its Chairman, Ola Egbeyemi; and General Secretary, Taiye Kolade.

AWAM in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, noted that the simple message of the waste intervention scheme was “go ahead and dump your waste anyhow, anywhere, anytime; we will pick them up.”

The group added that the payment of N25,000 per trip to its members who collect wastes from the dark spots was not economical to both the government and the operators, saying that while the government continues to spend heavily to evacuate the wastes, which keep reoccurring, the amount paid per trip did not cover the operational costs of the operators.

The group said, “The intervention has caused an unprecedented increase in the volume of waste on the highways and medians in recent times, as some residents now prefer to dump their wastes on the highways and medians as these are free of charge, as opposed to paying for waste disposal.

“What was meant to be restricted to the highway has now extended into the inner streets, thereby encouraging the residents not to patronise the assigned PSP operators in their areas. It has unfortunately led to a few operators abandoning their slots because the residents have stopped paying and now focus on the intervention programme. The end result is more waste, while the system is open to abuse and fraud.”

The group stated that its sustainable solutions included tackling the waste problem at the point of generation by enforcing the government policy of door-to-door collection, acknowledged to be an international best practice; and ensuring that all the existing dumpsites were made accessible at all times to enhance the turn around time of the operators.

According to the group, carrying out massive advocacy programmes to enlighten residents; enforcement of sanitation practices of bagging and containerisation of waste; provision of sustainable enforcement for non-compliance with house-to-house disposal and non-payment; and provision of subsidy for the low income areas are some of the areas the government should explore to solve the waste crisis.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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FG to Ease Economic Burden of 1.7m Small Businesses, Individuals

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FG to Provide Financial Support for 1.7m Small Businesses and Individuals

The Federal Government has said it will provide financial support for 1.7 million businesses and individuals in the next three months.

The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Ambassador Mariam Katagum, disclosed this at the virtual commissioning of the Fashion Cluster Shared Facility for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) held at Eko Fashion Hub, in Lagos.

According to the minister, the initiative was borne out of the government’s continued effort at cushion the negative impact of COVID-19 on the people by protecting present jobs while simultaneously creating new opportunities.

She further explained that the administration of President Buhari, through the Economic Sustainability Committee, had launched specific programmes to cushion the negative effect of COVID-19 on small businesses across the country.

She said, “The Federal Government is fully committed to empowering Nigerians; more so in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. In this regard, the government, through the Economic Sustainability Committee had announced specific programmes aimed at cushioning the impact of COVID-19 on MSME businesses.

“These programmes include among others, the N75 billion MSME Survival Fund and Guaranteed Off-take Schemes of which I have the honour to chair the Steering Committee for the effective implementation of the projects.

“The project, which will run for an initial period of three months, is targeting 1.7million entities and individuals and has provisions for 45 per cent female-owned businesses and five per cent for those with special needs. The registration portal for the schemes is set to open on Monday 21st September 2020 and I urge you all to take full advantage of the schemes.”

Katagum explained that the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, which was developed by a committee headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, was introduced to combat the health and economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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OPay, WorldRemit Partner to Deepen Mobile Money Transfer Service

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Nigerian financial service technology company, OPay has announced a partnership with leading global digital payments platform WorldRemit, to offer international money transfers directly into OPay mobile wallets in Nigeria.

The partnership between OPay and WorldRemit will provide Nigerians with a fast, easy and more affordable way to receive money from over 50 countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada directly into their mobile phones.

Nigerian financial service technology company, OPay has announced a partnership with leading global digital payments platform WorldRemit, to offer international money transfers directly into OPay mobile wallets in Nigeria.

The partnership between OPay and WorldRemit will provide Nigerians with a fast, easy and more affordable way to receive money from over 50 countries including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada directly into their mobile phones.

OPay also offers an exciting opportunity for customers to save and invest their money in its FlexiFixed service, which offers up to 12% returns per annum.

The service, which launches in September 2020, is immediately available to all OPay customers on KYC 2 level and above. New customers can download the Opay app from the Google Playstore or iOS store and upgrade to KYC level 2 to instantly access the service.

“This partnership ensures that customers can continue to make affordable money transfers to their family and friends in the comfort of their homes. Together WorldRemit and OPay are disrupting traditional money transfer methods by delivering services that customers can access 24/7 via smartphones at their convenience.

“I’m pleased to share that we’ve reduced prices in 48 corridors and passed the savings onto our customers. With communities across the world having to change their lifestyles due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, we’re proud to play our part in making sure our customers can continue to support their family and friends throughout this challenging time,” says Gbenga Okejimi, Country Manager for Nigeria & Ghana at WorldRemit.

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COVID-19: Africa’s Hospitality Industry Loses $50 Billion

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Hospitality Industry In Africa Loses $50 Billion to COVID-19

Global health pandemic has erased more than $50 billion in revenue from the hotel and tourism industry in Africa, according to a recent report.

African Union stated this in a report titled “Impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the African economy”.

However, on Thursday Transcorp Hotel admitted suffering unprecedented losses and therefore has decided to let go 40 percent of its present staff as it moves to restructure and reposition the company for the new normal.

To this end, the hotelier is diversifying its portfolio and reducing its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives,” Transcorp Hotels Plc Managing Director Mrs. Dupe Olusola, said at a news conference yesterday.

She went on: “The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015.

“The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than five per cent.

“Despite the losses incurred we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100 per cent salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April.

“We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans. We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs.

Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive. To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40 per cent and our reward system will be optimised.”

Mrs. Olusola further disclosed how the company plans to adequately compensated its workers given the peculiarities of the economy at this time.

She said: “A health insurance package to reduce their health burden costs, especially during the pandemic, amongst other payment settlements, will be activated. Equally, all Executives of Transcorp Hilton Abuja have now taken a pay cut.

“As one of the leading hospitality brands in Africa, Transcorp Hotels Plc has stated its commitment to uphold service standards and ensure that all guests continue to experience the warmth and hospitality that it is known for.”

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