By Godwin Tyonongu
There are indications that the waste management firms engaged by the Nasarawa state Waste Management Bureau (NASWAMB) could be shown the way out after a period of six months “should they fail to live up to expectations or are found wanting in the court of public opinion.”
Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Waste Management, Group Captain Tanko Auta (retd), disclosed this yesterday during a chat with Blueprint.
Auta said the waste managers were on trial for a period of six months within which “if there are too many complaints from the public concerning their conduct or performances, they would be sanctioned.”
He said the charges fixed by the bureau to be paid by organisations such as hospitals, filling stations, hotels, shops and so on was consequent upon the financial environment prevalent at that time “and not necessarily based on government rates; hence the need for the waste managers to take their time in negotiating with the affected stakeholders based on their capacities for the project to succeed.”
He said: “We are using the period of three months’ grace to plead with the people to see reasons about the policy; sensitisation is also on-going, after which the real enforcement would begin. We have sanitation officers from government for the enforcement; in the Greater Karu local government, there’s a mobile court centrally set up and we are making use of the high courts, but enforcement has not really started.
“I have noticed that people do not like to embrace change; but one thing is that this project is not about an individual, it’s a government policy aimed at bringing about a healthy and friendly environment.”
He said “instead of complaining, residents should applaud government for introducing such a policy, especially given the fact that Greater Karu remains the gateway to the Federal Capital of Nigeria,” urging residents to “abide by the law to have a clean and healthy living.”
According to him, in the course of the project, no less than 53 street cleaners have been engaged to clean the road leading to the nation’s capital, while government has acquired about 13.5 hectares of landfills around Tudun Wada for waste dump.
It would be recalled that the bureau, initially located in Lafia, had since moved to Nyanya Gwandara.