Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Wednesday unveiled 102 locally assembled compactor trucks and 100 double dino waste bins, toward boosting waste management.
Speaking during the unveiling at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu said the trucks and waste bins were unprecedented interventions put forward to address logistical and operational shortfalls in the collection of waste across the state.
He said the trucks and bins would help to reduce turn-around time in waste evacuation within the metropolis, thereby achieving a cleaner and healthier environment.
Sanwo-Olu said the assets comprised 30 units of 12-cubic meter trucks, 60 units of 24-cubic meter trucks and 12 hook loaders.
"They will be complementing the over 850 Private Sector Participants (PSP) compactor trucks to enhance service delivery in under-served communities across the state.
"The compactor trucks were assembled by LAWMA technicians in conjunction with Dangote Sinotruk Manufacturing firm.
"They are designed according to the local requirements to aid clearing of waste from generating points to transfer-loading stations. Each compactor truck has three years warranty and maintenance package," he said.
Sanwo-Olu said the new waste collection assets were not being deployed to edge the PSP operators out of the business.
He said the compactors would make trips only to public places and major roads to take waste, while the PSP operators would continue with their commercial and residential waste collections.
"This intervention represents one of the largest singular investments ever in the waste management sector in Lagos.
"We are confident that the addition of these new assets to our existing ones will quickly bring about visible improvements in waste evacuation and reduce the incidence of black spots that blight our roads and clog our drains," he said.
Sanwo-Olu urged the residents to reciprocate the gesture by promptly paying their waste disposal dues to ensure improved service delivery.
He said that in the coming weeks, LAWMA would be rolling out an acquisition scheme to assist willing PSP operators to replace rickety waste collection trucks in their fleets.
The governor also charged LAWMA workers who would be operating the new implements to handle them with care and put them to good use.
Besides, the governor formally unveiled a mobile application called "CitiMonitor", which would enable monitoring and reporting of environmental infractions, including indiscriminate dumping of refuse.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, said that it was the second time the state would be witnessing such massive intervention in waste management.
Bello said that it was after the 2008 delivery of 100 compactor trucks to LAWMA by the Babatunde Fashola administration.
"This is a remarkable accomplishment that will enhance the cleanliness and adequate sanitisation. It is part of our resolve toward helping to build the capacity of some of the private investors in the waste management value chain.
"The real celebration would be when we look back in a few months from now and can see commensurate improvement in the waste management fortunes of the state," he said.
The Managing Director, LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, said the new compactors were fabricated to address the problem of liquids dripping from waste trucks – the snag synonymous with second-hand trucks mostly used by the PSP operators.
Odumboni said the new compactor trucks were fitted with sitting compartments for waste collection assistants to prohibit hanging on the trucks.
He said the trucks would be distributed across the four operational districts of the agency, while the double dino waste bins would be stationed at muster points across major markets.
"We will not take this intervention for granted because we know that these assets have been acquired at great cost amid economic challenges and so many other competing needs.
"I assure Mr Governor and Lagosians that these working assets will be properly looked after," Odumboni said.
The Chairman, Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, Mr David Oriyomi, commended Gov. Sanwo-Olu for freeing the source of livelihood of PSP operators from extinction.
Oriyomi said the association through a partnership with some financial institutions had injected over 100 compacting (tokunbo) trucks into the system of waste management in Lagos.
According to him, the state government has stepped up the game by injecting brand new equipment into the business of waste management in the state.
He appealed to the governor to come to the aid of the PSP operators who lost their trucks to arsonists during the EndSARS saga.
"We also pray, Mr Governor sir, that you amend some clause identified in the said five-year Franchise Agreement for the benefit of the growth of the SMEs in the state," Oriyomi said.