Don’t panic, we are addressing issue of refuse menace, LASG tells residents

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THE  government of Lagos State yesterday pleaded with residents not to panic over the heaps of refuse in the state, assuring that it was already addressing the menace and issues that led to it.

This came as the state government and operators of Private Sector Participation, PSP, agreed to amicably resolve their dispute that led to a suit before a Lagos High Court in Igbosere on the implementation of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, CLI.

The lingering dispute is believed to be the major contributor to resurgence of heaps of refuse in the state.

It will be recalled that the PSP  in the waste management sector, had sued the state government and an environmental utility group contracted to implement the new initiative, Visionscape Group, rejecting the alleged decision to jettison members for a new investor for the collection and disposal of waste in the state.

The CLI, which is a new waste management policy of the government, was established to address, enforce and regulate the challenges in the solid waste management systems in line with global best practices.

At the last adjourned date, parties in the suit had informed the court of their readiness to settle the matter out of court, while the case was adjourned for activation of discussions leading to the amicable resolution of the dispute.

When the case came up yesterday before Justice Oyekan Abdullahi, counsel to the PSP operators, Tosin Adesioye, from the Chambers of Ebun Adegboruwa and Co, told the court that parties in the suit had made substantial progress to settle the matter.

The lawyer also applied for two more weeks to be granted to the parties to perfect the terms of settlement.

Responding, counsel to the State Government and Director of Civil Litigation in the state’s Ministry of Justice, Mr. Saheed Quadri, affirmed the position of Adesioye, saying that it was true that parties had met severally on the issue.

In his brief ruling, Justice Abdullahi commended the parties for their individual and collective efforts to amicably resolve the matter, saying it was obvious that substantial progress had been made.

“I can confirm seeing the progress made so far and I want to appreciate all the parties involved in the settlement process. It is my hope that the team of legal minds in this suit will be in touch with one another,” Justice Abdullahi said.

Speaking on the refuse, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamgbetan at a special meeting/briefing with operators of community media, in Alausa, Ikeja, said the state was aware of the current refuse challenge in the state and was working tirelessly with all stakeholders to resolve it.

He said the state had earlier met with the Local Government Chairmen on the issue where a collaboration deal was struck to join hands in clearing the refuse pending the eventual take-off of CLI.

He assured that the handlers of the new system had already commenced the first take-off phase with the distribution of waste collection materials to be completed soonest. Bamigbetan, who assured of government readiness to work round the clock to clear the waste from the streets and road medians, however, urged residents to desist from patronizing cart pushers.

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