Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi is the member representing Ifako-Ijaiye in the Lagos State House of Assembly and Chairman, House Committee on Environment. He speaks on issues of waste management in the state and his plan to contest for a House of Representatives seat in 2019. WALE ELEGBEDE reports
Why do you want to go to the House of Reps?
The basic qualification as stipulated in the constitution of Nigeria can be met by any of the contestants. I might come with the background of being in the legislature since 2007 and having served in various capacities at the committee level coupled with my professional qualification, I would say I have an edge in terms of experience and quality representation and having the ability of knowing the nitty gritty of the legislature. The job of a parliamentarian is not stated in any book. You probably gather it on the job, based on your level of exposure. I want to say that if given the opportunity by my party to serve, I would be a good representative of the people of Ifako Ijaye Federal Constituency and Lagos in general.
What would be your priority if you get to the House of Representatives?
I believe that there are a lot of things to be changed and these things are not within the job of the legislature at the state level. I strongly believe that we can change many things at the federal level. I believe that I will go to the National Assembly not to just make the number, but I have plans to change things at the National Assembly.
How have you impacted on your people since you got to the state House of Assembly?
The major responsibility of a lawmaker is to look at your people and the problems confronting them. Apart from legislation and performing oversight functions, I would say that Ifako Ijaiye has benefitted in no small way in terms of infrastructural development. Indirectly, the Ifako Ijaiye Federal Constituency benefitted from the Jubilee Bridge in Abule Egba that has helped the movement of vehicles in the area. I believe that by the time the Agege Bridge is completed, it would also benefit the people of the area. I would describe as ongoing the road that leads to Obawole. If it is looked into, the problem of gridlock at Obawole would be completely eradicated. If you don’t have any business on College Road, you bypass Iju Road through Ajayi Road, then you would link Obawole. That will improve economic activities of the area and improve the value of the environment of the people living in Obawole.
I have already discussed with the Commissioner for Works so that they could include the road in the budget. We have done so many empowerment projects that have benefitted the people of the area over the years.
What are your chances in the election?
Every contestant would see himself as the candidate of the party, but I believe that based on my pedigree, my capacity and love to serve the people, I would be a better candidate to represent Ifako Ijaiye at the Federal House of Representatives.
There is the issue of refuse clearing in Lagos State , how can this be surmounted?
What we experience on refuse clearing in Lagos State was not what we bargained for. For a long time, we had issues with the Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators on the way wastes were being managed in the state. We looked beyond the state, and looked at the global future. We said that we didn’t want waste to be moved round to contaminate the environment and water base. That was why we contracted a tested and trusted hand on solid waste management organisation like Vision Scape. I feel that the transition ought to be seamless. The PSP operators ought not to have been disengaged at the time it was done. They ought to be operating until Vision Scape has the capacity to clear the waste. We have 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state, if only 10 local councils are being done by Vision Scape, the PSPs can move to other areas. The government is seriously engaging the PSP Operators so that they would be given a long term contract and buy more vehicles and equipment.
When there is a policy in government, for you to know if it is good or not, you have to subject it to test. It is during operation that you would know if the desired goals are being met. It is during evaluation that you can now go back to the drawing board to know if it is working or not. Vision Scape should be given the opportunity to work. Lagos State should not be an exception, they have worked in other climes successfully. They should allow the PSPs to work in areas where Vision Scape cannot reach. I want to commend Governor Akinwunmi Ambode for his efforts on waste management and for ensuring that interventionists are brought in and Lagos is wearing a cleaner look. We should keep our gun powder dry and support the government in doing it’s best.
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