Over 50 youth groups and a civil society group have endorsed the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) and the new environmental laws signed by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
The Committee for the Protection of Peoples Mandate (CPPM) and the Lagos Youth Forum (LYF), an amalgamation of over 50 youth groups in Lagos state on Sunday said the CLI "is a visionary and revolutionary policy", which would go a long way in ensuring proper waste management.
The two groups, in a separate statement, said the initiative, apart from its design to provide over 27,500 jobs, would also help to tackle myriads of communicable diseases occasioned by lapses in the previous environmental policies of the State Government.
The CPPM statement was signed by its Executive Chairman, Nelson Ekujumi, while that of LYF was signed by the group’s Executive Secretary, Gbenga Omage.
The CLI is an initiative of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode's administration aimed at ensuring that all communities in the State are clean and neat. In March, Governor Ambode signed the new Environmental Management and Protection Law, which is intended to bring a paradigm shift in the way Lagos State manages all environmental issues. The state government, in its determination to ensure effective implementation of its new environmental policy, has also assembled a consortium of globally reputable companies led by Visionscape to manage waste collection and disposal, using ultra modern facilities.
While congratulating the people of the State over the development, the CPPM said the new policy was a testimonial of the resolve and foresightedness of Governor Ambode to turnaround Lagos into a 21st century mega city.
“We are indeed glad that the new initiative, apart from tackling the observed environmental challenges of a megacity like Lagos, will also go a long way in tackling environmental pollution occasioned by the menace of existing dumpsites which are to be phased out and replaced with a sizeable number of modern and environmentally friendly landfill sites.
“We are happy that the Cleaner Lagos Initiative will create an additional 27,500 jobs as a means of addressing unemployment in the State which is a cause of mass poverty and involvement of our youths in crime and other nefarious activities,” CPPM said.
The group, however, urged the State Government to start the process of engaging in advocacy and sensitization of the citizenry in order to turn Lagos citizens into active participants, saying that a cleaner and healthier Lagos would ultimately be to the benefit and good of all.
On its part, the LYF said it was worthy of note that the new initiative on the environment has the potential to uplift the environmental status of the State to a mega city status.
According to the group, “The new initiative will result in the procurement of modern equipment and the development of landfill sites instead of the old dump sites which constituted environmental pollution and endangered the health of the citizenry.
“We are also glad that the new initiative will address the perennial problem of default in the payment of waste levy as it will be replaced by a public utility level which will be paid just once in a year and will ensure that refuse is evacuated 24/7 within the state. This improvement in the waste levy collection method will remove the bottleneck and problems associated with the system and improve the sanitation level of the state,” said LYF.
The LYF, therefore, urged the people to key into the initiative, saying that it would address the environmental challenges of the State and benefit everyone living and working in Lagos.