Lagos State House of Assembly

Lagos Assembly is set to pass a law that will restore the constitutional powers of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to carry out refuse collection, disposal and management.

During a one-day public hearing on “A Bill to Amend the Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017,” yesterday, Committee on the Environment Chairman, Saka Fafunmi, said the 2017 Environmental Law had many shortcomings and needed amendments.

The Assembly had on February 20, 2017 passed into law the controversial Environmental Bill which gave an opportunity for the executive arm of government to have a private/public partnership with a waste management company for the collection and disposal of waste.

The passage of the bill paved the way for Visionscape to be tasked with refuse management by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to the exclusion of the Private Support Partnership (PSP) operators.

The Assembly, however, ordered the PSP operators to return to work last year after outcry over the littering of refuse dumps all over the state.

Fafunmi said after comprehensive appraisal of the 2017 Environmental Law, the lawmakers discovered that the bill had many shortcomings and needed amendment.

“The impact assessment we carried out after the law was passed in 2017 showed that the law did not meet our expectations and there was need for us to revisit it. We have proposed several amendments which borders more on LAWMA. When we made the law in 2017, we were looking at having a concessionaire that would take over the waste management of Lagos.

“Shortly after the law was passed, we realised that it was not something that could stand the test of time. It was that year we brought a white man to clean up the streets of Lagos and we saw how easy it was for them. We have decided to revert to our ways of doing it and that is why we are empowering LAWMA, the PSP and other stakeholders in the amendment of the law. We will empower them and take away the issue of the concessionaire.

“Section 41 of the amended law will be amended by deleting the ‘concessionaire’ and it definition and empower LAWMA to take control,” Fafunmi said.

The Deputy Speaker, Wasiu Eshilokun, said the amendment became necessary, as the current Environmental Law is very defective.

Eshilokun said: “We want Lagos to be cleaner than it is that is why we are re-engaging the PSP operators. We are better now than we were two years ago in terms of environmental cleaning. We will receive recommendations and suggestions from stakeholders to ensure the amended bill will not be as defective as the former one.”

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