January 22, 2022

Alexandra Beer House

The Real Estate Experts

Odumboni: Our Resolve on Cleaner Lagos Project Unchangeable

The attainment of environmental health remains a cardinal goal of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration. An offshoot of this quest is the Cleaner Lagos project being superintended by LAWMA. Managing Director of LAWMA, Ibrahim Adejuwon Odumboni, speaks to Eromosele Abiodun and Segun James on the journey to a megacity

You have a huge job to clean up Lagos, which is very tasking because of the attitude of people who are still stuck in the old ways of just dumping refuse indiscreetly. And one of the ways you can check situations like that is to have prosecutorial powers to serve as deterrence. What kind of tool do you have in this regard?

We have the EPML law, which was signed into law by the House of Assembly; we operate the 2017 version currently. And this law details what exactly could be done in cases like infractions, improper behaviour or improper waste disposal, neglectful environment and things like that?
But most importantly, it is very good for the agency as a regulator and for states to implement the law. So, implementation of the law is what we are moving into now.

What we should remember very well is following the previous policy somersault, before 2015, LAWMA was moving with the Waste Management law until Visionscape came. So, when Visionscape came, LAWMA was then rested, but everything went to the side, LAWMA was distorted and a lot of things changed.

The whole system collapsed, people were told to bring their waste to the street and not pay because the then administration wanted to introduce a levy to each household that will cover the cost of waste management. And because Visionscape doesn’t have the capacity to go to the inner streets, they didn’t have the required number of trucks and manpower to do it, they asked people to bring their dirt to the street. So, it was easier for them to cart away on the major roads. So, people then became very used to that ideology of bringing the waste to the major road.

It is difficult to build, but easy to destroy. So, before you start applying the law to everybody, you need to go back to reorientation, advocacy, providing the tool for LAWMA, which the government has done.

The intention is to ensure that the PSP has the required support, which is why we see a growth in the number of trucks the PSPs have. From 624 up to about 850 plus now by virtue of the enabling environment that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has created.

Because that was what helped to grow the way we managed waste in Lagos. If we generate 13,000 metric tons of waste per day, so each truck on average capacity 10 tons, that is what they will carry. So mathematically, you need 1,300 trucks to ply Lagos. So, now we are 850 plus PSP, now about 900 confirmed PSP that we regulate. Because we have 475 PSPs and each of them are required to have at least two trucks. If you multiply that by two, it is now 900 plus. Let’s say 900 active PSP trucks as we speak. Then the governor has added 100 to our fleet, which makes it 1, 000. Then we had the previous fleet which was between 40 to 50. Then also, all those double Dino bins that were launched, we already have another 100 previously, so making 200. Those are also like garbage trucks. The only difference between them is that they are static, and they are picked intact, whereas a garbage truck is a moving receptacle. But they have 16 metric tons capacity, and they are bigger. So when you put in them, at the end of the day, when it is full, we have somebody that keeps those bins that will make a call that this one is full. We bring a new one and then take the old one.

So if you add that together, that makes 1,300 that are needed for us to manage 1300 metric tons. Now you can imagine before now when we don’t have those bins, when we don’t have those compactors when our PSPs could not afford to get trucks. The state will definitely be dirtier, and people go to the last resort to do anything.

An individual cannot keep waste with him, which is not something that you embrace and keep with you; you will want to discard it. And by discarding it, as human beings for survival, you do anything.
But now that we have the required operational tools to do the job, our PSPs are in a better position to be able to revamp their fleet as well. And also as promised by the governor on the day of the launch, they will be giving them financial support and making sure that all their needs are catered for.

You can then move to the reorientation. We have a very broad designed advocacy program that we are rolling out from next week Monday. We will be going to different LCDAs and local governments to do sensitization. The Chief Judge gave us approval last week for 24 magistrate courts to be able to hear our cases on environmental infractions.

Previously there were only two special courts that could do it. So, if I pick you up in Epe, either I take you to Ikeja or drag you all the way to Ikoyi for hearing. Or use a mobile court which has its challenges as well. But what we have now are 24 magistrate courts that will be able to hear cases across Lagos.

So, each local government has at least one. That makes it easy because in the law is, it says every house must have a bin. That is why Mr. Governor has approved for LAWMA to procure bins and be able to retail to tenement at affordable prices.
So, we have procured the bin now and it will be arriving in the next six to seven weeks and then we will start distributing it to interested households in Lagos.

But you need to make sure that you have something done before you start enforcing it. Now that we have announced, the governor has gone back to announce that everybody should pay for their waste, don’t bring waste to the middle of the road. Don’t migrate with waste. So people after Lagos and when they are coming because they know that there are compactors in Lagos, they put their waste in the boot and then they drop it wherever they are working in Lagos.

Some people drop it at the bus stop when they are coming back from their work. We are going to work with the Ministry Of Transport, with LAG Bus and co, with Science and Tech, where we will start detecting people that are creating infractions by unruly behaviour. For example, I know across Ikeja there are cameras to monitor cars beating the red light. We have started talking to Science and Tech. So, if the camera catches you and has a clear picture of you dumping waste, or you are migrating waste, the same penalties, the same prosecution will apply to you. We see that a lot, especially the Sango Ota road, Abule Egba and so on.

You are talking about working with tech and cameras; you know Lagos is a very peculiar state. You have a lot of not-too urbanised or developing areas like Ajegunle, Ijora, Mushin, Alimosho, and they are very densely populated areas. Now how do you work with technology and picking offenders, because these are areas where we have most of the dumps?

What we do in such areas is quite interesting and then our major challenge now has moved away from those areas to our major roads. Because we employ locals of those areas to manage the area and we call them waste policing. Take for example, Ijora our gate here before you turn in, as you are turning, there is a community that goes all the way down, which is the Otto community. If you were there a year and a half ago, you will ask if this place is a dump yard? Maybe because it is closer to LAWMA. But now if you dare throw a bottle on the floor in that community, you are in serious trouble. Because some of the youths there have gained full employment and if they catch you doing that, you are in trouble.

The same thing will apply in Apapa when we recruited the community to police itself. You know in Apapa they have a lot of Hausa communities and of course, they police themselves. We have adopted the same thing in Badore last week because we know that that Badore and Ajah axis are a mixture of tribes. We have Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa and Awori people there. And then we have started seeing a lot of progress because if you use community policing, it is okay.

But in the developed community where the youths are already employed to work, everything is clear. It is people that are transiting or visiting that just feel they are the ones worth doing what they need to do. So for us, it is more about the awareness around you. The environment is something that all of us cannot avoid, it is sacrosanct.

Three things are common in life, you are going to eat, you will excrete and then because you are eating, you will also sleep. The eating process creates waste, excretion creates waste, and the only one that doesn’t create waste is sleeping. But that is when you will think about how you are going to do the other two the next day. So for us, it is very important that we change the narrative. And for us to change the narrative is not about doing it from the top bottom; it must start from the bottom up.

The Lagos State Governor launched 102 brown new locally assembled compactor trucks and other units of double Dino bins. Now we understand that these were assembled locally, what does this mean for forex conservation?
The good thing is that they are locally assembled, they were locally designed and the only parts you see that were imported were the ones that were not fabricated in Nigeria. But most of the parts were sourced in Nigeria. So we designed them, and we designed them in such a way that we put the needs of LAWMA into it.

We looked at our dump sites and factored the challenges into them. Some of the trucks you see are very low, the majority of the trucks that comes to Africa have spent 15 years in Europe before coming. By the time they come, they are low and they cannot compact. Our waste is wet, it is not dry. Because when it rains, if you don’t have a bin, all the waste is wet before LAWMA comes then it starts leaking.

So we designed a reservoir there that collects all the water from the truck. You will never see water leaking from all of these new trucks. If we see anyone leaking water, we take it to where we are treating waste and treat it. We are also putting a lab to research to see what we can do to that water to see if it can be put to use in any other way.

One other thing we did with the truck is because we did most of it here because we sourced most of the metals here, it is way cheaper than an average truck. Even at the moment, because of a foreign exchange rate increase, the difference between this truck and a new truck is probably 25{5c5dea63d85f53f02efc9ab9265287d0ece3b78845972efbeea742ffee5dbbf2}. A used truck now, if you want to buy a used truck now and this truck is 25{5c5dea63d85f53f02efc9ab9265287d0ece3b78845972efbeea742ffee5dbbf2}.

Because our Governor is very great in understanding finance, so these are things that we have done way before this time and also we have planned around it. And in our design we looked at it, you know some times you buy a Benz, you can either buy a C class or buy an exclusive executive Class and you can buy a standard one. And then what you now put in are the basic things that I need as a driver? What are the most important things: my engine must be strong, the compactor ratio must be there, there must be safety for my staff, nobody hanging on the truck, and people need to sit down at the back of the truck.

Then also there must be amber light so when I am coming even if it is in the night people should know. Just like the truck I was telling you about that was parked, imagine if it was in the night and there was no light on it, somebody might come and ram into it.
So those are the kind of things that we have put in place and it helps us. And people are engaged, they are really happy. Because our engineering team is one of the strongest engineering teams we have in Nigeria. We have the best hydraulic engineer in Africa in that yard. Because I could recall one of the former managing directors said to me that there was a time they had resident big technicians and academics around in LAWMA studying hydraulic. Then they started teaching all the staff when they were 16, 17 and 18 on how to work hydraulics. And now we have them there, no PSP has a compactor that has a hydraulic problem, once it gets into that yard in Iddo, it is coming outdone because they know a lot about hydraulics and hydraulics is compactor. The ability for you to compact is what makes the job easier.

Like the bins, we had former General Manager, Engineer Ogunbiyi, now an Oba in Kwara State in a community. We noticed that when you are driving on the road, a lot of our old bins have their doors falling off. People are using nets and they keep dropping off. Because being on this road, you have to use a lot of other people’s knowledge and you learn every day and I am still learning on it.
So we invited him, and we asked him, what can we do to mitigate against this? Although initially I spoke to the governor and he said, I know an engineer that used to be with works and then came to LAWMA. I think he is retired now, he described him, so I came back and asked my team, who is this person? And they said Engineer Ogunbiyi, that he used to be head of Engineering. So, we went to look for him. And I said the governor said I should come and meet you, here is my problem, what can you do? He drew the new bins, the new bin is not like the old bins. Instead of it opening like a double wedged door, it is now opened like a latch. And then you don’t have it falling off, it is easy to repair.

It is just like a mechanical hook it is not complicated. Then he also advised us that if you want to make bins buy quality steel. Quality steel lighter and they give you a minimum of 15 years warranty. But whereas, if you have a cheaper one, they are heavier and within 3-4 years, you start to rust. So a lot of other things were done and then we decided that the design that he has done for us, how do we do it? Then I took a decision, if we have to outsource it to a contractor, it would cost a lot.
Each of those bins I remember when I was the executive director of when I went to North Island and each of those bins cost, minimum of $15,000. And that does not include the haulage cost. Because they are real metals, they are steel; each of them cost a minimum of $15,000. And I know that previous contractors said they bought some, but we decided we are not going to do that. We have to create jobs. So we put a call out to all the welders in Lagos Island, they worked here nights for good 85 days. So if you are a welder, bring your machine, if you are a panel beater come, so all of them with the LAWMA staff everybody. So, all the bins were made in this building. All we got was sheets and then we turned it into what you see.

Talking about that bin, did you say you are importing them?
No, we did not import the bins; they were made bins here in Nigeria. But the one you meant, you know the household bin, you have a bin in your house, it is called a 14-litre plastic bin. So we are importing them. And I will explain the reason why and the decision we took with the company following. There is a company called Sheafer; Sheafer is the Ross Royce of the bin, just like Ross Royce of cars. They are the only company that will guarantee you 15 years for a bin. And they have tested their bin, you can throw it from eight floors down it will bounce, it will not break. And they have a microchip in there that says if it is green, that means it is not full. If it is red, that means it is packed with 75{5c5dea63d85f53f02efc9ab9265287d0ece3b78845972efbeea742ffee5dbbf2} of the bin.

You talked about giving each household in Lagos a bin, we are talking about 2 million households in Lagos, how many of these bins are you expecting?
What we are doing because we are doing it in such a way that we order the bin and then people can come and buy from us. You can come and buy from us at a discounted price. If you go out there to buy a normal bin from maybe GP or any other producers in Nigeria, you will get an average of about 28 to 30,000 and the warranty is different.

This particular bin is 15 years warranty standard, and it is already GPS-tracked, RFID-tracked and the movement is tracked as well. We are looking to retail it for a maximum of N28,500 because of the dollar exchange. What that will do currently, the number of household that have our bin is less than 200,000. And that is why you see the bag, bag, bag, everywhere. If everybody has a bin, even if the PSP people visit you and you are a family of four, you can usually have a wheeled bin, that is the 240-litre bin, you can use it for a minimum of 10 days. 240 litres of waste is a lot. But if you don’t have a bin at all, what do you do? You don’t put outside, every day you are putting things outside, the rat will come they will open it. Scavengers will come and use their scroll bar and open it and pick the plastic and pick the iron and then leave the rest on the floor.

So that is why we want to promote it, we are ordering the first sets, which is 40,000. Then in Mr. Governor’s clear terms, these companies Schaefer, need to come to Nigeria to establish a production plant in Nigeria. But they said, give us a commitment that you will buy X amount first before we can come to Nigeria to bring our mold and our factory. And we consider this, and we consider all the bin manufacturers in Nigeria. If we are to order these bins from them because we aim to make about 500,000 them available as a minimum for the first one year, all Nigerian producers if they start producing the bin, for the next one year they cannot produce the total number that we have ordering in the first batch. They cannot even produce half of it.

So, it will take us a long time to achieve that dream, but we are not mandating everybody to compulsorily buy that bin. The locals will also be encouraged to be patronised. Once the bin comes, GP, OK plastic, we will have a promotion for them as well so that people can buy locally.
Then you can start enforcing, you don’t have a bin in your house, the regulation says you must have a bin in your house. And then they know that they can readily buy that is okay. Not what we have now, some people have drums with no cover. The rain comes then it is filled with water. So, all those things we need to change. But Rome was not built in a day it is a gradual process.

How many are you ordering?
The current order is 40,000 and we have pre-order of about 21,000. Because for us as a government agency and for the state to be able to continue doing it we need to see the level of commitment. So seeing about 20 something thousand already pre-ordering it, it gives them confidence that when the bin finally arrives, a lot of people will be interested in doing that. And for our PSP it makes life easier. Don’t just move your truck and say let’s go today, once you can see your roof, okay this place all of it is green or amber, I can wait till tomorrow. This one all of it is red, they can plan their routes, diesel is up, if you roll out today and spend money just picking 10 bin, and then tomorrow you come and pick 20, you are just going to lose in the future.

Now the governor also launched what he calleed the city monitor, tell us about this?
The city monitor is an app that was created for the monitoring of infractions and environmental-related infractions across the state. So everybody can download on Google Play, IOS whenever you see drainage problems, you take a picture it or construction going on wrongly or somebody doing waste dumping, somebody burning their waste because that is not allowed. So anything that has to do with environmental information, even if it is like wastewater, maybe soakway over spilling. Because if your neighbour has a soakaway that has broken up and it is over spilling and ignoring it, or noise pollution, and on a lot all those of things, that is what it is meant for.

Because all the agencies under environment, LASEPA, KAI, LAWMA, LASPARK, Water Regulation, all of us will be using this app to monitor all infractions. It is a matter of you having it on your phone and then when you see anything that could create environmental impact or climate change impact, report, take a picture, what time, what location, date, and then you can enter your comment and then send it. Once it gets sent, LAWMA’s own will come to LAWMA, LASPARK own will come to LASPARK. Like someone cutting a tree without bothering about the environmental impact of it and felling of trees illegally, that’s what the app is for.

We learnt some PSP operators not happy with this development, they see it as a threat to their business; what do you have to say about this?
The governor has said these trucks are not coming as a threat to the PSPs at all. These trucks are there for us as a regulator to manage public spaces only. The public roads like Ikorodu Road, Third Mainland, all those major roads because major roads are not allocated to PSPs. So what we have now, you can leave your road to the airport; you have to be the one that does the appraisal of your job yourself in terms of tidying up the state.

So, it is for the major roads. It is very clear where we are deploying these assets. None of them is allowed to go into the inner streets. We are not even going to borrow anyone to go and do the inner street job except it is critical. And it is also very important, like you said, in a situation when somebody reports that a PSP has not turned up for two weeks, if it is a performance issue, or a neglected issue, we need to be able to react as an agency. We go there, tidy up the place pending the reprimand, pending the replacement. At the moment, we do have that. We can go in there intercept and do what we have to do.

So, it is going to make a lot of PSP more serious because you know now that if you abandon a place and LAWMA is aware that you abandoned the place, they will go there sustain it and replace it. So, it is not a threat to the ones that are real PSP that are business owners.
What we must understand in Nigeria and Lagos, and indeed everywhere, everything cannot hinge on government. I and you are government, you voted for Sanwo-Olu and I voted for him, that is why he is there. And he bestowed on me the responsibility of managing LAWMA. But if we are just trying to say everything is the government we are not going to move forward.

So, attitudes need to change, even for our PSP we called them way before now and said change your ways because a parent can send you to school from toddler to an adult, and even do a PhD. And after that you will still expect your parents to come and pay your rents, no, no, no.

In your question that you were talking about the underperformance of PSP, apart from the city monitor that will actually monitor the way they are performing, we have street captains now. Those street captains are youths across the streets. So in their streets, they are given five streets to monitor, they will report when PSP don’t turn up. It is work in progress, we have 377 wards in Lagos and currently, I can confidently say we are in 250 with the street captains. The other ones we will come it as time goes by.

We also set up a call centre down there, where we do two shifts, 7 to 7 in total every day. And what is the point of the call centre? It is to take calls, deal with any complaints that have to do with PSP performance and different things. We never had that before. We only had this two months ago to support our fleet, to support our operational performance.
So, LAWMA is going through a lot of rejuvenation, but the one we have on Wednesday is the real one, is the real nailing it. It is like you a police officer, you have pepper spray, baton, you have everything, but you don’t have a gun. Or you have a gun but you don’t have a bullet, nobody will fear you. But now you have a state-of-the-art gun that has laser light and everything, just by merely pointing your gun, you will be seen as being serious.

The governor also promised to assist PSP operators?
Yes. So, what we have done is Tuesday, before the launch, I witnessed the PSP and FCMB entering an MOU in which FCMB is going to borrow more than 4 billion to replace their fleet. The majority of our PSP have loans in commercial banks at about 22.9{5c5dea63d85f53f02efc9ab9265287d0ece3b78845972efbeea742ffee5dbbf2} and FCMB is giving them 7{5c5dea63d85f53f02efc9ab9265287d0ece3b78845972efbeea742ffee5dbbf2} cheaper.
Before, all of them were borrowing individually but now they are borrowing them as a group. We witnessed and encouraged and introduced them. I was an ex-investment banker, we designed the product for them and asked the bank to come and see if they can do it for the PSP. What we do as a regulator is to monitor and ensure that everybody is treated fairly.

So, if somebody gives you a loan and it is 7{5c5dea63d85f53f02efc9ab9265287d0ece3b78845972efbeea742ffee5dbbf2} cheaper than what you get elsewhere basically it is as if you are giving that person money. And that is one other thing that he said as well. So you can either take that loan to buy a Dangote truck or take it to buy a used truck. But because of the cost and because of the design, it is wiser for them to go for newer trucks rather than used trucks. Now that they are made in Nigeria, it is way cheaper. If you are buying one of those Dangote trucks, let say you are buying it for 28 on average, and then you are buying the used one for like two, then you ask yourself can I have three years warranty. Because those trucks have 3 years warranty.

You are an environmental expert, how clean are the new trucks in terms of carbon emission?
Another very good thing about what you saw about the new trucks that we have, their emission rate is way far lesser. And there is this thing that LAWMA is doing, so we did a trial which is we converted two of our existing trucks into gas, that in a dual form, gas and diesel. So all these 102 fleets that you see, gradually we will start converting them.

So we have earmarked about 30 that we will go and convert next month. Once we convert them we fill them with gas and if peradventure the gas finishes before they get to where they will refill, they change to diesel. So number one is going to reduce emission, it is going to save the injector and all the mechanical problems that we have and then it is going to save cost. Diesel price keeps going up, but if we have practically cheaper gas, diesel is about N298 whereas gas is about N90. So it will also save cost and protect the environment, but we are going to do it in stages because we did have operational challenges and then we need to move out of the trap. So we have earmarked some to change.

What are the challenges of LAWMA? And how committed is the Governor to his Cleaner Lagos initiative?
I have been in LAWMA for a total of 2 years and three weeks. So, I came as an executive director in May last year and I have seen a lot in LAWMA. I did my understanding on Visionscape, pre-Visionscape, post-Visionscape and now, our biggest challenge before today was operational assets. That was the biggest challenge.

Because you need to practice what you preach, you need to lead by example. And you have the right tool for years to come. Not just the right tools now. For me, the government is extremely committed. When this administration started, he could have just run and done what his predecessor did by going to buy used trucks and then paint them and make them look new. And everybody will see it and still be clapping.

Maybe you won’t notice much difference, but we had a discussion, they had to research how much and what is gap analysis. How many do you need? What do you need to do? And he gave his commitment at that point in time. I will do it by this time, before the 800 days. So the negotiation of the truck, how is it going to be done? So, he doing the discussion for us to make it easier and make it come to life. Because if he goes and buys a used truck, I give you one and half years, they are back to scraps again.

So that shows a very good commitment. Then in terms of the Double Dino bin, he has experience when you first joined during Tinubu’s time. The governor did a lot with waste management. He was part of the people that formed and started LAWMA and the cleanup. So, he used to experience it, then to go and get tipper to carry waste. He was able to coach us very well on that double Dino and how you use it, not just garbage in garbage out. So that shows a lot of commitment.

Other threats that LAWMA has apart from the operation is our people’s understanding, the attitude of Lagosians. Sometimes you will see the exceptional ones, you will be so proud of a lady that is picking plastic all the way in Ijora, and using it to feed people and campaigning about waste dumping. Then you meet someone who would dare to beat you up for trying to stop them from dumping.

Or people that try, they did their best, they work, they labour bought a house, bought a land of 14 million and built a house of 200 million, then you ask that person the pay for the waste bin and he says no, he uses a cart pusher. Then you ask yourself what is the logical sense, why do you live like an educated illiterate?

So there are a lot of people among us that don’t understand the quality of what the environment does to us. You throw plastic away, like plastic, it comes back to you and you have cancer then you are gone. But they don’t think about it that way, everybody thinks I have money, I can protect what comes to me. What you cannot protect you cannot protect. So it’s been very good for LAWMA because we have a governor who understands waste. He has done this before. So that is one thing everybody needs to understand. Not that is the first time he is coming in contact with LAWMA. He has done waste management before.

Under Asiwaju administration, he has always had his input, even in Fashola administration too, he had his input. So, he is someone that see something grow. I cannot go to him and start giving him jargon, he understands what we do.

So understanding what we do and solving our problems, just like the dumpsite problem that he was talking about. When this administration started, he went to the dumpsite, it was a colossus. You can only travel certain meters. If you go in there now, we have a one-way system, we have six platforms. A platform is where you tip, so the turnaround time, you go to the dumpsite, you come back in 24 hours or two days later, that was before. But now you go in an hour and you are out. At the same time, you need to kind of compact them so that it will take more, that is one. You also need to manage it so that the gas does not turn to fire that we had in those days. So we now have five active dumpsites, all of them looked after that way. But most critically, the last and the most important assignment for LAWMA, apart from recycling, which he kicked started, and we are starting to see progress, it will continue to move. It is a waste of energy to wealth. All those waste, we cannot continue to do open dumping or be doing dump sites, no. Lagos is like a developed city now, we need to go to technology, to turning those waste into something that will be incinerated and you burn and it goes away.

So we are enlisting a lot of proponents, my people have travelled to some parts of Africa, outside Africa, the US, Europe to see what they do. But we are looking for the best result for Lagos in terms of sustainability, cost, and efficiency because all those things will be factored in. If you want waste-to-energy, you can get a consultant to come and do it and they give you a bill of one billion dollars and how do you pay it back? You signed yourself into big trouble.
So, is it the right price? You need to know. Is it peculiar to our wet waste and our terrain? We need to know. Do we have the capacity? We need to know. Do they have the capacity? Because we get a lot of proposals, over 90 proposals we got this year.

This is talking about dump sites; you said you have five. Tell us where they are located?
We have at Ojota, then we have in Igando, then we have Awuelepe in Ikorodu. We have Epe, opposite Aloro city, and finally, we have IyaAfin in Badagry.

There was this incinerator that the government was building; what has happened to it? There is one at Ikoyi where they are supposed to recycle waste?
During the Jakande time they were to bring about the incinerating system; they did the civil work and then ever since then nothing has been done. So, that incinerating system is something that we need to go to but we need a PPP arrangement to do it. It is very costly for the state to pick it up, because now you have to do it, and you have to treat it and you have to make use of quality, and I have been to Exeter in the UK to see one that generates five megawatts. It cost 50 million pounds to do it. If want 20 megawatts for Lagos to cater for our energy challenges, you will be looking at times four of that. So, that is very important.

Our waterways are cloaked and very dirty. Is that under your purview?
Yes, it is under my purview. I am happy to tell you that we have a marine team. Our marine team has existed for two years now. So they take a minimum of 10 compactors off our shorelines every day. I have over 350 operatives, they are on a boat, the Ilaje boys, and they go on the boat, and pack the water Hyacinth, bottles and other waste. But most significantly, if the land is clean, the water will be clean. It is the gap you have inland that creates the problem you have on the water.

So rather than you be concentrating all your effort on the solution, the root cause, let’s stop people dumping on canals, arrest them, and deal with them. Now we man all the main canals into the waterways. So with the truck, we have dedicated about four trucks to do that. so that will help us mitigate what is coming from inland. If you go to Mushin Ologede, you will see a big wire net, all the plastics that are coming from Mushin, Oshodi, all those areas, there is a compactor ready for that. We will pack all of the waste and any other thing into the compactor. The wire net is clean again and the next morning they are back again. It shows that people are still dumping in the canal and drainages somewhere, so that needs to stop. So for us, we need to continue to clean our waterways, we will see it cleaner over the next couple of months with the introduction of these new trucks by BabajideSanwo-Olu. You will see a lot of changes in terms of that.

But most importantly we have reformed our PSP, we asked them that this is your minimum standard, this is the number of trips you need to do at the barest minimum. And once they are doing that and LAWMA is doing its beat, you will see a massive reduction in what we have. You know next year they are doing boat regatta tourism, so we don’t want to disgrace ourselves, so we are on top of it and we are getting ourselves ready. But come to think of it during the Visionscape time, for four years, those shorelines were abandoned. The plastics did not go anywhere, and the funniest thing is that if you clear it now, once the tide is back again, you will see it. so we are doing a lot to preserve the environment.