Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Wednesday, 26th November, 2014, formally handed over the Agege Transfer Loading Station which has been embedded with a medical waste treatment facility, stating that the residents should expect more of such facilities because he is committed to serving Lagosians till his last day in office and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) keeps its promises.
The Governor, who spoke at the Agege location of the transfer loading station, added that the transfer station which is the third built by his administration will provide hospitals and clinics that are close by with an efficient depository for treatment and disposal of medical waste in a safe and healthy manner.
He stated that when the first transfer loading station was commissioned at Simpson Street in Lagos Island, the state blazed a trail with a facility that has never been experienced anywhere in the country which ensures that all the refuse in a particular area was contained during the rush hour and moved at night.
Governor Fashola said by the time the state moved on to the third transfer loading station, it had developed further capacity adding that unlike the first one at Simpson which was simply about solid waste, the Oshodi Transfer Loading Station helped to do more.
He noted that the Oshodi Station addressed the danger of medical waste, syringes and all of the end products of surgery which were often just dumped in the refuse where children can play around with them and result in possible epidemic.
He added that as the state government is providing additional loading stations, new developments are also coming up asas smart entrepreneurs are keen on taking on the management of the refuse dumps by turning them into recycling plants.
He stressed that a new recycling plant has already been put in place in Alimosho and that with the way and manner the company is going about the recycling of generated waste in the area, the state may no longer need the projected 20 transfer loading stations anymore.
He recollected that the idea of waste management formed a major part of his electioneering campaign when residents sought to know how he intends to tackle the issue of waste in the Agege area.
Fashola added that he promised them then that he would adopt strategies that have been applied in distant locations with similar problems and have been successful to manage the waste and that the administration would build about 10 transfer loading stations across the state.
He explained that when he made the promise, he had a clarity of vision and he believes that any party that makes a promise to the electorate must fulfil such promise as a matter of honour as he has done.
He maintained that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is a party that keeps its promises to the people, adding that he is committed to serving the people of Lagos till his last day in office.
The Governor said waste is a money spinner any day but must be well managed to ensure a healthier populace and longer lifespan, warning the residents against patronizing cart pushers because they do more harm than good.
He explained that when cart pushers collect refuse from residents they end up dumping such refuse in canals and unauthorized locations which may result in flooding and major problems.
He reiterated that the state is working on a programme that would ensure that the cart pushers do not become unemployed but start a programme to integrate them with compactors and can also participate in the waste sorting exercise.
According to the Governor, the world is embracing recycling and that for a country in Nigeria where the emphasis is use of non bio-gradeable materials like bottles, plastics, polyethylene, a change of attitude must take place.
He informed that what many fail to realize is that several of the waste materials that are taken from the country are recycled overseas and exported back into the country for people to buy.
Fashola said the Agege Transfer Loading Station is a possibility today because some people agreed to let go of their titles on the land for the betterment of the majority, adding that the state is however still contending with the problem of people instituting court cases to stop government from embarking on public projects such as the latest reports of a court injunction asking the state to stop work on the Osborne Jetty which is nearing completion.
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of the Lagos State Waste Management Authority( LAWMA), Mr Ola Oresanya said the transfer loading station is a demonstration of capacity to transform degraded or mismanaged environment into a facility of repute as a social remediation strategy.
He added that with the established benchmarks for development and operation of the transfer loading station (TLS), LAWMA is set to allow the private sectors to participate effectively and creditably in the rapid development of the remaining 17 TLS across the state.
Oresanya explained that for the immediate take-off, four sites are ready for development namely Ogombo, Abule- Egba, Ishasi and Owutu in Ikorodu.
In a message of goodwill, a former title holder of the land on which the Agege Transfer Loading Station has been built, Major Olanrewaju expressed his appreciation to the state government for providing him with a replacement land at Abijo GRA.
Also in a goodwill message, the Vice Chairman of the Waste Managers, Mr Taju Ekemode thanked the Governor for creating a scheme that has created employment for civil, mechanical, electrical engineers and artisans of various vocations.
He appealed to the state government to revisit the issue of incinerators so as to reduce the number of vehicles going to the landfill sites.
The Governor later cut the tape to formally commission the transfer loading station at the event which had in attendance members of the State Executive Council including state Commissioners for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello; Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; Commerce and Industry, Mrs Sola Oworu; Information and Strategy, Mr Lateef Ibirogba; and several others.