Analysts have urged the Lagos State government to give Visionscape Sanitation Solutions more time to prove its capacity in the current municipality waste management contract in order to implement the new integrated waste management policy encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).
The scheme was designed to effectively manage and dispose over 13,000 tons of waste generated daily in the state, and provide a proactive response to containing the growth rate of waste generated per person which is expected to increase from 1.2 kg to 1.42 kg in the next 15 years.
On “TVC This Morning”, a television phone-in programme focused on social analysis, Nelson Ekujumi, a public affairs analyst and Consultant Economist, Joseph Egbeyindo discussed the environmental condition of Lagos State in the context of the “Cleaner Lagos Initiative”.
Both analysts opined the mounting heaps of dirt across the state are attributable to the clog in the relationship among operators in the waste management ecosystem, not lack of capacity on the part of Visionscape Sanitation Solution.
According to Egbeyindo, “there is a palpable fear amongst PSP operators that Visionscape has come to take away their means of livelihood, just as the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) holds the view that the newly appointed sanitation contractor has come to bite into its pie”.
Under this atmosphere of suspicion, which triggered the war of attrition mounted by some members of the Private Sector Participation (PSP); sabotage and unsupportiveness are certainly some of the reasons the sanitation management systems in Lagos seem to have collapsed.
“While making Lagos dirty and embarrassing the government with swelling filth is a likely tactic to discredit Visionscape, the associated environmental and health hazards of the stalled disposal process that evacuates 13,000 tons of waste daily to the residents of the state is huge”, noted Ekujumi.
This reality has shown a need for the state government to strategically introduce a process of inter-operability into the state waste management ecosystem.
With this, fears will be allayed and operators in the ecosystem will appreciate the need to work together in a collaborative relationship towards a cleaner Lagos.
Specifically, Egbeyindo suggested that “against the revocation of Visionscape municipality waste management contract, it is more advisable that the company is allowed more time to deliver on its promises. The atmosphere has not been conducive for optimal performance, so it is rather early to say the company lacks capacity”.
“Moreso, abruptly terminating the contract, aside from being hasty, also exposes the state to both reputational and financial risks.
“For instance, the action will adversely affect the state’s credit rating in the domestic and international market, it may impair relationship with the group of investors, comprising Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs), Deposit Money Banks and Trustees & Asset Managers with whom the state shares a longstanding relationship.
“So, rather than squander its A+ GCR and Agusto & Co. credit rating reputation on an issue that could be addressed by process restructuring, the state should systematically the strains in the State’s waste management and disposal ecosystem”.