L-R: Wife Of Lagos State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat and the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mrs. Aderonke Odeneye at the launch of the LAWMA Academy.

By Kazeem Ugbodaga

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has reiterated his administration’s commitment to zero tolerance for traffic and environmental infractions, just as he promised to boost the capacity of LAWMA to evacuate waste with 100 trucks.

Speaking on Tuesday at the launch of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) Academy, Community Marshals and Street Captains, the Governor through his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi warned that those engaged in the acts of throwing waste into drainages should desist from such unhealthy and destructive practices.

The governor noted that his administration’s dream of making Lagos a 21st Century Economy and a Smart City State would be impossible if the issue of waste management was not taken seriously.

He applauded the dedication of LAWMA staff in keeping Lagos clean, healthy and habitable for all.

According to Sanwo-Olu, “It is heartwarming to note that LAWMA has not just been doing a good job in managing our waste in Lagos but they have been doing this with steady improvements, like the collection and disposal capacity which was raised from 439 trips per day in May 2020 to 720 trips per day which they run currently.

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“They have also come up with several innovations and initiatives part of which we are here to launch today, intended at improving the efficiency and the effectiveness of waste management in the State”

The governor emphasized that the triple initiatives could not have come at a better time than now, bearing in mind several warnings and alerts on flooding in the coming days when the rains commences fully.

He further stressed the need to intensify efforts on managing waste in the State, sensitizing the public and enforcing the law against those who engaged in indiscriminate disposal of waste in the state.

Describing LAWMA Academy initiatives which is the first of its kind in this part of the world, the governor noted that it would serve as the educational arm of the agency that would engage innovative approach to support corporate and personal development among the citizens.

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He stated that the Academy would raise the next generation of scholars and entrepreneurs through the several programmes and the services they would be rendering aimed at improving waste literacy and promoting good waste management practices to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

“I have no doubt in mind that this academy will impact attitudinal change for proper and sustainably waste management in Lagos and I am really impressed that this time around, the academia is partnering with government to ensure that knowledge is properly harnessed to address socio-economic challenges.”

Sanwo-Olu stated further that his administration would continue to support LAWMA in her current drive in making Lagos cleaner and safer for everyone in line with the goals of the Health and Environment pillar of the T.H.E.M.E Agenda.

He said, “To further strengthen LAWMA’s capacity, we have concluded plans to procure additional one hundred trucks for LAWMA and these trucks are expected to arrive before the end of year 2020. We have also concluded plans to launch the LAWMA Adopt a Bin program which is targeted at waste containerization as well as waste segregation from source.”

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In her address at the event, the Wife of the State Governor, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu described the initiatives as laudable, as it would help sensitize and educate citizens on the need for proper waste management in Lagos State.

She said, “Today marks the beginning of another milestone in the history of LAWMA, as the Lagos State Government is launching various initiatives aimed at ensuring that residents feel real governance across the length and breadth of the State, especially in terms of the environment.”

Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello said the initiatives was one in the right direction being a significant part of the environmental education and advocacy, adding that it would help to entrench the culture of sustainable waste management in the minds of the young ones and serve as a vehicle of environmental attitudinal change for the larger society.