The Lagos state government has announced plans to create as much as 25,000 jobs in the environment sector under the newly launched CLEANER LAGOS INITIATIVE (CLI).
Commissioner of Information, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, disclosed this while announcing a robust plan to employ over 2% of its entire population over the next few years with the implementation of new environmental policies and procedures.
According to him, the CLI will employ 25,000 community sanitation workers (CSW) who will be engaged mostly as street sweepers within the next 12 months. “Every sanitation worker will reside in the Ward they operate for convenience and to curb the high cost of transportation to work. They will be well-trained and given an attractive compensation package. In all, we hope to generate a total of about 45,000 new jobs directly in the waste management sector over the next 5 years.”
The main idea of the CLI is to create value and empower those at the bottom of the value chain. It allows citizens to finally be a part of the solution by taking responsibility for their immediate environment all while solving the challenge of poor waste management in their communities.
The sanitation workers will be well trained and equipped with protective gear (uniforms, gloves, and boots) and equipment such as picks, brushes, carts as well as mobile phones to communicate with the control centre, and will be well paid above the current federal minimum wage.
The benefits of a mass employment scheme such as this unprecedented effort tie back directly to the Lagos State Government’s sustainability goals.
For example, CSWs will only be allowed to work in the communities they live in thereby reducing carbon footprint because they will not need to take public transportation which is better for the environment but also has the added advantage of virtually no transportation costs. This will also free up more disposable income which they will be spending within their local communities.
The local multiplier effect of a progressive policy that pays above the federally mandated minimum wage in distributional terms is immeasurable. The positive impact on low-income households is particularly beneficial not only to direct beneficiaries within the household but also within the local economy as higher spending by workers typically results in an increase in demands for goods and services within their local communities.
An increase in wages for almost 2 percent of the population of Lagos State also translates to an overall improvement in public finance.