With the delivery of multi-million dollar waste management trucks, innovative transfer loading station, engineering land fill and well-kitted worker, Lagos State government is, unarguably, set for modernised waste management process. DAYO AYEYEMI reports
Efforts at improving the physical environment of Lagos metropolis and making it cleaner, safer and healthier for all through the Lagos Cleaner Initiative (CLI) are taking shape as the authorities took delivery of state-of –the –art equipment ranging from trucks to vehicles and galvanised waste bins for the exercise.
With the delivery of the equipment, which was unveiled last week by Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, the concessionaire of waste management in Lagos State, residents’ expectation is that the company will swiftly move into action and clear heaps of refuse that have already resurfaced in some neighborhoods in the state.
The equipment comprises $50 million consignment of brand new 100 vehicles for waste management fleet in the metropolis. The vehicles, embedded with cutting-edge technology, consists of a series of waste trucks, from various rear end loaders to operational vehicles. Assuring the public of the firm’s readiness, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, Mr. Thomas Forgacs, said the company was set for operations of waste collection and management across the state, starting with Agege.
He said: “We want to deploy in two months 20,000 galvanisedd bins, and we are starting with 3,000 bins this week.” Forgacs said that the arrival of the trucks was an addition to the waste management fleet in line with the company’s commitment to provide integrated waste management services, using state-of-the-art equipment and innovative solutions to help transform megacities.
“As a pioneer in environmental solutions, the Visionscape trucks are fully equipped and embedded with cutting-edge features, which include a Global Positioning System (GPS), Radio-frequency identification (RFID), and automotive Controller Area Network (CAN bus) system,” he said.
These innovative features of the equipment, the Visionscape boss said, were designed to meet the operational needs facing waste management across the state, adding that with the use of the methods, the firm would be able to monitor and track the state’s waste collection process thoroughly.
Besides, he said he would ensure that trucks are deployed for effective waste collection within local government areas (LGAs). In the last six months, he said the firm had surveyed the entire Lagos State and collated vital data to aid operations.
“We, therefore, understand population density of the communities and areas that will be serviced, even up to the number of streets and households across the state,” Forgacs said, adding, “80,000 tonnes of waste was carted away from the black spots within state recently.”
Besides, he said the company had completed the renovation of modernised Transfer Loading Station (TLS) at Tapa Street, on Lagos Island, adding that the facility was ready for use. He took the government officials, journalists and other stakeholders on a facility tour of the TLS.
To ensure the success of the operation, the chief operating officer hinted that his firm had completed the construction of a new engineering land fill in Epe for proper waste disposal in the entire state. Some well-kitted street sweepers and their supervisors were on parade to show their readiness for the jobs.
Cleaner Lagos Initiative
The Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) was launched in September last year for the purpose of meeting the waste management demands of the state. The CLI was established to address, enforce and regulate the challenges in the solid waste management systems within Lagos State.
The initiative is focused on improving the environment to make it cleaner, safer and healthier for all residents, as well as developing operational efficiency.
The initiative is part of moves to make Lagos comparable with major cities in the world. Currently, the state has an unenviable record of having the largest amount of domestic and industrial waste in the world, which is put at 13,000 tonnes per day, ahead of New York’s 10,000 tonnes.
According to an official of the Lagos State government, the scheme will provide jobs for 27,000 people within the state. Initially, the development did not go down well with the former PSP operators in the state, whose appointment expired last year July. To register their grievances, they stopped waste collection and in few weeks, there were heaps of refuse in the metropolis.
However, with the intervention of Visionscape’s “Operation Deep Clean’’ in the evacuation of waste, residents were rescued. It is on record that Visionscape recently evacuated 12,600 tonnes of waste in the state within 10 days. Visionscape currently in a public-private partnership with the Lagos State Government, is set to provide management services for the CLI under the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
Forgacs mentioned that the company had commenced renovation of other transfer loading stations in Agege and Oshodi in order to provide integrated waste management solutions for the treatment of municipal solid waste and wastewater under CLI. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Lagos State, Mr. Abiodun Bamgboye, said the state government in conjunction with Vissionscape would deploy 500 trucks as a target for Lagos.
He said: “We are just displaying what we have received now and more are still coming.
The policy has been formulated, facilities are now coming in and personalities are being engaged. “Lagos state is trying to actualise the degree of ensuring that people live a healthier and secured live, and also create means of livelihood and opportunity of engagement for people.”
Transfer loading stations
Transfer loading stations are processing facilities usually located within city limits, where waste collection vehicles temporarily deposit collected waste from their servicing areas to be transported in bulk to the landfills after processing. Visionscape is expected to manage waste processing and transfer to the landfills across the state.
The Tapa TLS is the first to be completed. The facilities are expected to receive approximately 6,700 tons of waste a day. Each TLS include features such as weighbridges, disposal depot points and maintenance bays, housing hundreds of vehicles. With the innovations, Forgacs said the company had commenced the next phase of its contract for CLI.
The Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, said: “Visionscape has proven their commitment to developing and implementing advanced processes in solid waste and water waste management operations by disrupting the market with an innovative approach. Their state-of-the-art TLS’s will be a game changer in our industry.”
On the issue of waste levy, the permanent secretary said the public utility bill would commence in a few weeks from now.
According to him, public utility levy would take off immediately Visioncsape commences its full activities by parking waste from the road. Speaking on the modality of the fee, he hinted that tenement occupying 0-700 square metres(sqm) of space would pay fairly low fee, while those from 700 to 1000 sqm would pay more, adding that people occupying 1000 to 1500 sqm would pay the highest.
The Managing Director, Solid Waste Management (SWM) Solutions, a consultant to the Lagos State Government, Tolagbe Martins, stated that CLI had become a multi-task approach to Lagos state waste perennial sanitation issue, noting that Lagos as a city had continued to grow with the population hitting 22 million people with structures that were put in place 30 years ago. She said: “CLI is a framework to address the issues of required infrastructures, to allow for upgrade of existing and future growth.
“One of the key components is a new transfer loading station that enables efficient treatment of wastes, ensure shorter turnaround time, and drive recycling and sorting.”
She gave assurance that all streets in Lagos would henceforth be swept on a daily basis either manually or mechanically, adding that laws are in place that specify penalties for offenders. She said that the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) would play a regulatory role under the new waste management system.
The CLI has commenced and all hands are already on the deck to ensure the success of the programme
TCIP Customs explains cargo clearance delays at port
The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said the recent in cargo clearance being witnessed by importers and Customs Brokers at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos is because the NCS Internet Server was down thus impeding cargo documents processing.
This was disclosed by the Tin Can Island Customs Public Relations Officer, CSP Tony Ejesieme during a chat with the Sunday Telegraph on Wednesday at the port city of Apapa.
Ejesieme noted that the internet network breakdown as experienced by the Service could cause delay at anytime and was not the fault of the NCS but that of a bad weather.
The PRO, who admitted that there was delay in cargo release, said the command had not captured any importers for cargo release but was optimistic that the network would surge back and cargo clearance processing would commence immediately.
“We have not been able to work since morning as no importers have been captured. This is another delay; issuing debit note has become a problem. But the network will certainly come back and we will commence work immediately,’’ said he.
According to him, the major reasons for delay were non-compliance with import guidelines, wrong classification and declaration by importers, and lack of working scanners.
He, however, absolved the Service of any complicity and maintained that the NCS works based on procedure. ‘’Whatever we are doing is based on procedure and in accordance with the import laws. It is true that there is delay; if there are issues of infraction, there will be delay,’’ he said.
Ejesieme also caused by lack of scanners, saying that all scanners in all the ports in Lagos have broken down completely except only one in Apapa which could not handle all cargo in the port and that is why many cargos are routed to physical examination.
‘’Scanners are not working; only one is working in Apapa, no one in Tin Can. The issue of scanners has to be settled and we have engaged government on it.’’
Advising importers and customs agents to adhere to the import guidelines, he said that the security of nation as the nation approaches the general elections in 2019 would not be compromised as the Service is working with other government agencies to protect the territorial boundaries of the nation.
UBA Foundation reading through regions in Africa
As part of its mission to improve the lives of communities in which the United Bank for Africa operates, UBA Foundation said it has continued to encourage African youths to adopt the culture of reading through its ‘Read Africa’ initiative.
Read Africa aims to rekindle the reading culture amongst young Africans. Designed and introduced in 2011 by the UBA Foundation, the initiative has donated hundreds of thousands of books to African schools since its inception.
This past week, The Foundation took its initiative to the francophone city of Libreville to the students of the George MABIGNATH high school in Gabon.
The launch of Read Africa in Gabon saw in attendance, the author of the selected book Sidonie, written by famous Gabonese writer Chantal Magalie MBAZOO.
It was a colorful ceremony that witnessed the CEO of the Foundation, Bola Atta reading to and interacting with the students in high energy in the presence of their Principal, Mrs. Boudounghou Biboutou Isabelle and other staff members.
Bola Atta summarized the Foundation’s initiative saying, “At the UBA Foundation, we are committed to improving the lives of the youths on the continent and one of the ways we can achieve this is to help you read more. I am here to talk to you a little about the importance of reading and how it can radically change your life. Reading encourages you to dream, it expands your knowledge, your vocabulary. It is a path to achieving your ambitions”.
Chioma Mang, the CEO of UBA Gabon also reiterated the mission of UBA and emphasized the bank’s commitment to the Gabonese community. “ I love children and I am happy to be here with you all today. I’d like to encourage you to read very well so that you can reach great heights in your life like me. UBA is going to be there for you all the way. You can count on us”, she said.
The Read Africa initiative then moved on to Zambia to the Horizon Secondary School in Lusaka where the Director in the ministry of higher education in charge of Vocation, Education and Training, Mr. Alex Simumba, thanked UBA and the Foundation for the good work that is being done across Africa. He said, “To UBA Foundation, we thank you for your support to the institution today. We welcome this and many more collaboration in the field of literacy and other higher education programmes. We also further encourage other private sector organisations to take a keen interest in such programmes because the youths who are receiving these literary materials will be benefitting greatly from them,” he said.
Shell has disbursed N1.88bn to GMoU clusters in Delta State
The General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Mr. Igo Weli has said that Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) is still active in Delta State noting that the oil giant has executed a lot of projects in the state.
According to him, the oil giant has disbursed a total sum of N1.88 billion to Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in clusters.
Igo Weli, who disclosed this when he spoke with newsmen in Warri on Thursday, revealed that the GMoU funding covers the three clusters currently active in Delta State since the inception of the concept in 2006, adding that Cluster Development Boards (CDBs) like their counterparts in other parts of the Niger Delta, are implementing health and educational projects among others.
During the media presentation of the 2018 Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes to Journalists, he also disclosed that Shell has established a Professorial Chair at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE,) as it continues to operate in the state and contribute to its development.
Weli explained that the Professorial Chair in Light Weight Automobile Engine Development was activated at FUPRE in December last year and is the latest of six established by SPDC JV, noting that the Chair at Effurun is expected to contribute to the growth of local content in Nigeria’s automobile industry.
He added that in a bid to boost employment especially among youths, more than 700 young men and women have benefited from Shell’s LiveWIRE initiative between 2003 and 2017.
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