Lagos private waste operators, govt in war of words

By Tope Musowo

Private waste operators in Lagos state have slammed the state government over its claims that they were carried along in the ongoing reforms in the waste management sector.
In a response to the government’s claims, the operators insisted the reforms were meant to push them out of business and replace them with foreign investors.

“It is not correct, as stated by the Honourable Commissioner for the Environment, that PSP operators were carried along in any proposed reform, to be undertaken by the Lagos state government,” said Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a human rights lawyer, representing the Association of Waste Managers, an umbrella body of over 350 private waste operators in the state.

“As is usual with most government policies, our clients just woke up one morning to read in the news that they will all be driven out of business, in order to accommodate the so-called foreign investors.
“They were not consulted and their interests were not put into consideration by the government; it is all a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

The private waste operators (or Private Sector Participant, PSP, operators) and the Lagos state government have been engaged in a war of words over the past few days.
During a three-day training workshop for the officials of the Lagos state Waste Management Authority “LAWMA), last week, the government had said it was introducing new reforms in the sector to make the agency more efficient.
Part of the reforms, the LAWMA chairman, Olumuyiwa Adejokun, said, was the cancellation of the current 60-40 arrangement between LAWMA and the PSP operators whereby the agency collects waste bills on behalf of the operators and remits 60 per cent to them.

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