Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, on Friday, 7 February, 2020, launched the New Solid Waste Management Architecture in the State, which is tagged “Clean and Green Initiative.”
The Governor declared at the launch that “the cleanliness of the State is a collective responsibility that must not be left in hands of Government only.”
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, further quoted the Governor as telling the gathering at the event put together by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in conjunction with the Oyo State Waste Management Authority that the Clean and Green Initiative would empower many in the State.
He also stated that the initiative would be replicated in all the nooks and crannies of the State so as to make Oyo State one of the cleanest in Nigeria within a short time.
Governor Makinde charged all the relevant stakeholders to collaborate with the State Government in its bid to make the State more habitable, adding that the Government will soon sponsor the Commissioner of Environment and some top government officials to Kigali, Rwanda, which is reputed as the cleanest city in Africa, to understudy its solid waste management architecture so as to replicate same in Oyo State.
The Governor said: “On the 26th of April, 2019, two reporters working with the GuardianNewspaper put together a report headlined ‘Ibadan in the throes of refuse heaps.’ In that article, among other things, they stated that Ibadan was one of the dirtiest cities in Nigeria.
“When we got into government, we knew that cleanliness is next to godliness and it gets rid of diseases. So, we accepted then that the task ahead of our administration, when it came to waste management, was a daunting one.
“We were well aware of the difficulties ahead even before we came in. So, in our roadmap to the accelerated development for Oyo State from 2019-2023, one of the sectors we highlighted outside of the four pillars was waste management. With that robust plan, there won’t be illegal disposing of waste but keeping the streets clean.
“So, concerning waste management, we have to start from the basics. The first task I have to take is that those who were there and were only making returns to their sponsors, we relieved them of their duties in October. The next task for us is to put in a new architecture for solid waste management.
“If you check the cleanest city in Africa, it is Kigali. I was there two months ago for the first time. Now, I have told Commissioner of Environment to write to them and they have responded to us that we should come to their city and find out how they achieved it. Soon, the Commissioner for Environment and his team will be there to do the findings. It is only the best that is good for Oyo State.”
Speaking on the imperative of the sensitization programme, Makinde maintained that the Government realized that the responsibility of waste management was too strategic to be left in the hands of only the Government, calling on critical stakeholders join hands with the Government on the new waste management architecture in order to achieve the desired result of a cleaner Oyo State.
“Why we have organised this meeting is to let you know that, in most progressive societies, the entire work of waste management is not left in the hands of government alone. If we want only the government to tackle it, we won’t be able to achieve the desired result.
“You have been paying some money. Actually, some are paying while some are not. Those who are packing refuse are only offering the service for those that are paying them.
“Let us join hands together with the Government. The money you are paying will drop as we are willing to make the system efficient for all. We have been told that investors have been coming to Oyo State and if we also want to do the business of refuse management, you have the opportunity to do so now. And we will use this opportunity to empower our people. We are confident that if this initiative succeeds, we will get a better result.
“We are open to criticism and corrections because we don’t know it all. So, whatever you see on the street that is not befitting, tell us through the feedback mechanism provided by the Government and we will take them seriously in the best interest of this State.
“It is not only Ibadan we want clean. We want all the cities in Oyo State to be clean as well. We want to be the cleanest state in Nigeria and, indeed, in Africa, if not in the world.”