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Lagos Govt. creates soft loans for PSP operators, targets 200 trucks procurement

By Monsuru Olowoopejo,

After rejuvenating the Lagos waste management to address collection challenges, the State Government has designed a soft-loan for Private Sector Participation (PSP) operators to aid procurement of new compactors trucks for waste removal in the state.

According to government, the new soft-loan was designed to empower the operators to acquire new equipment that will enable them to cart away waste effectively in the state.

The Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, who confirmed the statistics yesterday while addressing pressmen during an annual ministerial press briefing on Wednesday in commemoration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration first year in office, said that the loan was designed to facilitate procurement of over 200 compactor trucks for waste collection.

Bello noted that after the rejuvenation of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) which has improved cleanliness with prompt removal of waste and improved management of landfills across the state, the next strategy was the loan to encourage PSP operators to acquire new equipment.

“Part of the plans put in place by the state government is the facilitation of soft loans to the PSP operators to replace their trucks many of which are not serviceable conditions.

“The state government will guarantee the loans and ensure that the PSP operators payback through a repayment plan that is spread over some years. With the new trucks, many areas that are presently not enjoying the services of PSP operators will also be reached and make the entire cleaner”, he added.

To aid the operators, Bello further disclosed that the Olusosun and Solus dumpsites were already under rehabilitation to end the spate of illegal dumpsites in the state.

Bello, who said that access routes to dumpsites were currently been rehabilitated, hinted that the earlier closure of Solus dumpsite was premature.

The commissioner, meanwhile, disclosed that at least 2,511 people were arrested and prosecuted in Lagos State for violating the lockdown procedures and other safety directives on coronavirus earlier imposed by President Muhammadu Buhari to assist the country gain control over COVID-19 in Nigeria.

According to Bello, this 2,511 residents prosecuted were among the 2,836 defaulters picked by officials of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) in conjunction with Lagos State Safety Commission for discarding the state physical distancing rules.

Of the 2,836 defaulters, who were arrested at different locations within the state during weeks of lockdown, 2, 649 were male while 187 were the opposite gender in Lagos.

Bello stated that LASEPA was able to manage the residents’ compliance with physical distancing and other preventive measures due to its inclusion in the COVID-19 enforcement team.

The commissioner added that LASEPA has also expended its operational divisions from 10 to 21 for efficiency.

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