The Lagos State House of Assembly has commenced moves to remove concessionaire from the management of waste in the state and strengthen the State’s Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) in the discharge of their duties.
This was evident in a ‘Bill to amend the Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017’ for which the House Committee on Environment held a Stakeholders Forum yesterday.
According to the bill, Section 41(1) of the Principal Law is to be amended by deleting the “Concessionaire” and its definition thereby stopping them from collecting waste in the state.
In its bid to give more power and functions to the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, the Assembly, in the bill proposed to amend Section 56 of the Principal Law
to enable LAWMA to collect and dispose all solid domestic, commercial and any form of solid waste including but not limited to medical waste, garden waste and other forms of waste generated in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt (Hon). Mudashiru Obasa, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, explained that the bill is to address the challenges facing the management of waste and cleanliness of the environment in the state.
Obasa stated that the forum was to give relevant stakeholders opportunity to make input into the bill, adding further that all contributions would be considered.
He stressed that it is only few sections of the principal law that the amendment would affect, stating that it would accommodate water regulations and waste disposal management in the state.
He stated that the amendment of the bill is to improve the environment and ensure that the operators experience seamless operation in the management of waste.
While explaining the bill, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Sanai Agunbiade, stated that the Assembly through the stakeholders forum is performing legislative surgery on existing laws, stating that the input of the stakeholders is important to the amendment.
Agunbiade explained that there is need to make the environment conducive for investors, saying that an unclean environment would affect investors who may want to invest in the state.
He pointed out that the extant law which covers environment management has 526 Sections, adding that it is only 48 sections that are subjected to amendment.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Dayo Saka-Fafunmi said that extant law passed in 2017 could not meet expectations as discovered during impact assessment analysis.
“We cannot have a law that is not serving the interest of Lagos and that is why we propose several amendments. The amendment essentially bothers more on LAWMA law.
“As at when the law was made, we were looking at having a concessionaire-an operator that will take over the waste management of Lagos”
Fafunmi added “No sooner that the law was passed that we realised that it was not something that could stand the test of time here. We have decided to revert to our ways of doing it.”
In his contribution, Mr Ola Oresanya, the Chief Executive Officer of LAWMA, said: “If the law is wrong everything will be wrong.
“I want to thank the Chairman of the committee for this painstaking effort to correct the wrong. The intendment of this amendment is genuine and germane” he said