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I am excited entrepreneurship policy work-Ambode

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

As countdown to expiration of Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration begins, he yesterday evaluated his graduate entrepreneurship and employability programme, Ready.Set.Work, allotting himself a pass mark for initiating policy.

Ambode also awarded N10million seed fund to the best three graduating students of the Ready.Set.Work RSW Initiative, saying that he was fulfilled that his administration was nurturing graduates that would contribute immensely to the development of the State and Nigeria in general.

The Ready.Set.Work initiative, a brain child of the present administration is an employability and entrepreneurship program aimed at preparing final year students in Lagos State for immediate entry into the work force as employees and employers of labour.

Speaking at graduation ceremony, the governor said the enthusiasm of thousands of graduants and testimonies from facilitators and sponsors were confirmation that his administration placed a high premium on future of Lagos.

“When I was graduating, I was just 21, but I had no direction. So after almost about 30 something years and I see youths so energetic and excited, I am happy to say that yes, I think I have made a difference.

“This is not about bridges, flyovers and hospitals, but I feel so excited that yes, I got this right and the future of this country is blessed.  The energy inside this hall tells me there is a different world here from what is happening out there,” he added.

On the graduates, the governor expressed optimism that the 5,000 graduates of the initiative have been well equipped for the world of work and rearing to make a difference.

“By investing in people, we will secure the future prosperity of Lagos State and Nigeria. With programmes like Ready-Set-Work, Code Lagos and the Employment Trust Fund we are providing platforms that will nurture a society of problem solvers, change-makers, and value adding citizens helping to improve our economy. These innovative programmes must therefore, not be allowed to die,” the Governor added.

He said it was gratifying that the initiative which commenced three years ago with about 500 students, 52 volunteer facilitators, friends and partners has now reached over 37,000 students, over 700 volunteer facilitators and several sponsors who have keyed into the program.

According to the Governor, the initiative has now emerged as a major platform for the government to prepare graduates from tertiary institutions for the life ahead by equipping them with requisite skills and mindset to give value to the labour market.

“I am pleased to inform you that over the past three years, we have stayed true to this vision and scaled up our impact. I invite you to take a look across the auditorium today to see how that small spark in 2016 has become a roaring fire.

“From 500 Ready-Set-Work Scholars in 2016, we are celebrating today the impact of this program on the lives of over 37,000 students who have participated in the Ready-Set-Work program over the last three years, either through the RSW On-Campus Training or through the RSW Online Academy.

“We have taken it a step further by supporting top performing students by providing paid internship opportunities, as well as seed funding and incubation for viable business ideas. To date, over 1,200 RSW Scholars have benefited from internship placements, and another 2,000 Scholars from the 2018 graduating class will also be placed in internships,” Ambode said.

He disclosed that the first place winners of the 2016 Ready-Set-Work Business Pitch Competition, who got seed funding and incubation support were already making impact in the society with the production of up to 10,000 liters of biogas daily within a community in Ikorodu, with zero carbon emission, while other graduates were adding value in top companies and countless small businesses across the State.

The Governor seized the occasion to thank the network of about 1,000 employers, who, over the years, have contributed to preparing RSW Scholars for the world of work, by providing internship opportunities in their organizations, noting that some have taken on the cost of paying their interns, with the State Government supporting small and medium size businesses by paying the stipends for their interns over a period of 3 – 6 months.

“In marking another successful edition of Ready-Set-Work, we cannot overemphasize the important role of our Volunteer Facilitators, the largest volunteer faculty in Nigeria. These selfless individuals gave up their Saturdays, traveled from far distances, committed to multiple hours of preparation, and made other sacrifices for 13 weeks to invest in our students.

“I thank our corporate partners and sponsors again for their commitment, financial contributions, and technical support. We trust that we can count on you to continue investing in the future of Lagos State.”

Earlier, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Obafela Bank-Olemoh said the graduants had gone through 13-weeks of intensive engagement and were mentally prepared to deploy their skills and emotional intelligence to the corporate world, saying that the future of Lagos was in excellent hands.

On his part, Vice Chancellor of LASU, Professor Lanre Fagbohun said the Ready.Set.Work program has bridged the gap between the quality of graduates being churned out from tertiary institutions and the requirement by employers of labour, urging the beneficiaries to utilise the opportunity and make a telling impact in the society.

Lagos nabs cart-pushers, street-traders, for dumping waste on roads, canals

By Balogun Alabi,

The Lagos State Government said it has arrested a total of 24 persons including cart pushers, street traders and some residents after they were seen dumping waste on road medians and canals, which was contrary to the Environmental Sanitation Laws of the State.

It was learnt that the suspects were arrested following investigation by the state government which revealed that cart pushers and some residents were indiscriminately dumping domestic refuse at sites not designated for waste disposal and canals, and was sabotaging the state’s efforts to make the State clean and hygienic.

The state government said that have charged the defaulters before the Special Offences Court sitting in Ogba, Ikeja area of the state, and that they were arrested in an early morning operation carried out by men of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) recently inaugurated by the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode.

Giving details on the operation, LAGESC Corps Marshal, Daniel Isiofia, explained that the reason for the inauguration was to ensure that the state was kept clean by ensuring that would make the dirty were curbed.

In a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in the state, the corps marshal stressed that in efforts to clear the backlog of refuse on road, LAGESC personnel went on surveillance, and thereafter discovered that the cart pushers were operating at Ogunlana Street by Ogbomosho in Itire area.

Isofia said that the agency’s personnel raided the area and discovered that the cart pusher’s job was to collect refuse on payment from some residents who feel that they cannot dispose their refuse according to government directive.

“Often times, if you go to the canal at Itire-Ijesha area, you will see the cart pushers dumping refuse into the canal thereby blocking the waterways which leads to flooding.

“So, with the determination to stop this menace, we raided them at about 4am this morning and we succeeded in impounding 150 waste carts used for this purpose and arrested 11 suspects while others fled,” he added.

The corp marshal, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, who advised residents to desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in public places, as well as patronizing cart pushers, added that such acts were against the law.

“We are partners in progress; Lagosians should assist us. Governor Ambode too has pleaded with the people to support the bid to make Lagos clean and we are joining the Governor to appeal to people to desist from indiscriminate dumping of waste and make Lagos a very clean city,” Isiofia said.

Meanwhile, four hoodlums have also been arrested for attacking LAGESC officials while performing their lawful duties.

The hoodlums carried were said to have carried out the attack on men of the agency on Tuesday at Brown Street area of Oshodi in the state, while on their way to enforce the ban on illegal dumping of refuse and street trading.

Following the incidence, two LAGESC officers – Olasilola Muyiwa John and Haastrup Ifealuwa were seriously injured while a Black Maria used as operational vehicle was badly damaged, although all the suspects have been charged to court.

Ladipo market may be affected by road rehabilitation – LASG

By Abolaji Adebayo

The popular Ladipo market at Mushin area of Lagos state may be partly affected by extensive rehabilitation of major link roads embarked upon by the Lagos State Government across the state.

This, according to the government, was in continuation of its drive to ensure smooth flow of traffic in the area, as also to coordinate commercial activities in the market being one of the major commercial centers in the state.

The Deputy Director, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Sina Thorpe, said that the government decided to rehabilitate and upgrade the road to a dual carriage having realized its economic value to the state.

In a statement on Sunday, Thorpe noted that Ladipo Street, a 2.87km road, connected Agege motor road to Apapa Oshodi Expressway service lane at Toyota bus stop, the major road that linked the city with Apapa sea port through which goods came into the country.

Thorpe, who was responding to a report in a national daily of traders in the Ladipo Auto Spare Parts Market area lamenting the state of the roads, said the state government was also rehabilitating and upgrading Alhaja Akinwunmi street, a strategic road that connects Ladipo street to Apapa Oshodi Expressway at Five Star bus stop, including Obagun road, which links Badejo Kalejaiye street with Fatai Atere Way, which in turn connects Ladipo Street with Agege Motor Road.

He added, “That to further ensure the interconnectivity to these network of roads and ease traffic in the corridor, part of the ongoing expansion and upgrading of the Oshodi International Airport Road would see the provision of a U-Turn ramped bridge to serve the motorists in the area.”

“The state government therefore urged road users and commuters along the corridor to cooperate with the contractor in order to speedily deliver the road projects as scheduled, while mindful of their present albeit temporary discomfort.”

Lagos plans shutting down Ikeja axis for carnival

By Balogun Alabi

The Lagos State Government has disclosed that it would be shutting a venue assigned for street carnival, in Ikeja axis of the State, but adequate preparations have been made for alternative routes to mitigate the impact of the road closure on motorists and residents.

As stated in a notice released by the state government, Oba Akran in Ikeja axis of the state was indicated as assigned venue for the event and the carnival was designed to celebrate the multi-cultural nature of Lagosians and reposition the state as a formidable cultural destination.

Plans have also been concluded to stage this year’s edition of the event scheduled to hold on December 3.

In a statement issued on sunday, The Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Adebimpe Akinsola, said that the “Lagos Street Party’’ event has grown into a carnival to mark the Ministry’s end of year activities.

She added that security arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the venue and environ are safe and incident free.

“To this end, several adjoining roads would be closed on the day of the carnival while alternative routes could be accessed by road users.

“We expect more visitors this year and a lot more will be coming. In terms of security and crowd control, the Ministry would be working with the police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Fire service, LASAMBUS and the Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA),” she said.

Akinsola stressed that there wuld be alternative routes for road users when the adjoining roads are closed.

“To this end, several adjoining roads would be closed on the day of the carnival while alternative routes could be accessed by road users”, she said.

Lagos settles N141.59bn bond debts

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Lagos State Government said it has paid the total sum of N141.59 billion to bond holders in its various fixed rate bond programmes.

According to the government, the bonds included the Lagos State N80 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 1 floated in 2012 with a maturity date of 2013; N87.5 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 2 floated in 2013 with a maturity date of 2020 and N47 billion fixed rate programme 3, series 1 floated in 2016 with a maturity date of 2023.

The figures were revealed on Tuesday at the 5th Annual General Meeting, AGM, between the state government and bond holders held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island.

Following the analysis of the bond by the government, in the N80 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 1 bond, the state government as at September 2017 had paid N76.17 billion to bond holders out of the N97.43 billion it contributed to the bond, leaving a balance of N30.34 billion invested in fixed income and treasury bills.

In the N87.5 billion fixed rate programme 2, Series 2 bond, the sum of N61.44 billion was paid to bond holders out of the N75.91 billion contributed by government, leaving a balance of N18.49 billion invested in fixed income and treasury bills.

In the N47 billion fixed rate programme 3, Series 1 bond floated last year, the sum of N3.9 billion had been paid to bond holders out of the N4.2 billion contributed by the government as at September 2017, leaving a balance of N229.7 million which had been invested in fixed income and treasury bills.

Addressing people at the AGM, the Commissioner for Finance, Akinyemi Ashade noted that the various bonds had been used to upscale infrastructural development in the state in the areas of roads and bridges construction, water, transportation, health and waterfront infrastructural development.

According to him, $50 billion was needed to address infrastructural deficits in the state, which he said, was part of the reasons the government floated bonds to bridge the gap, adding that over time, two bridges had been constructed with the proceeds from the bonds while major infrastructure were upgraded across the metropolis.

Ashade said the state government was committed to uplifting its debt ratings and would borrow at reduced rate, saying that in the coming year, government was going to invest massively in projects.

The commissioner added that the state government was looking for ways to increase its revenue and that part of the move was to review existing rate systems which had been in use since the 80s with ridiculous rate.

“We will update our laws to increase revenue. Those revenue laws have been in existence since the 1980s and they have ridiculous rates,” he said, while calling on all to support the government by paying their taxes appropriately.

Ambode seeks private partnership on infrastructure dev, promises constant power

By Abolaji Adebayo

The Lagos State Government has canvassed for partnership with the private investors to support in the infrastructural development that would drive critical sectors of the economy in the state, promising that there would be uninterrupted power supply across the state by the end of 2018.

Speaking recently at an interactive session with members of the business community and informal sector, the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said public private partnership was critical to accelerate development, and that the government was open to collaborate with interested investors, promising that such partnership would be a win-win situation for the overall benefit of the people.

Specifically, the governor said the government would be willing to partner with any investor interested in taking up the second phase of the Mile 2 to Seme Border ten-lane road project.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Habia Aruna on Sunday Ambode explained that the government needed investors involvement in the construction of the second phase which is ten-lane road from Okokomaiko to Seme border, while the government complete the ongoing first phase from Eric More to Okokomaiko.

He believed that the achievement of the project would open up and transform the western axis, especially Badagry, saying that the project would also complement the massive projects being undertaken in the axis.

Besides, Ambode said plans were already at advanced stages to bring about constant power supply to all homes and businesses in the state by the end of 2018.

He maintained that the state had devised policies and strategies to short-circuit power generation, transmission and distribution to ensure constant power supply to the people of the State despite the challenges currently facing the power sector in the country.

The governor noted that the government was in talks with electricity distribution companies operating in the state to see the possibility of supplying uninterrupted power to residents at a bit higher tariff than what currently obtained subject to agreement of all stakeholders, while government would be the guarantor of the people.

He revealed that the legal framework to prevent power theft and also legitimize the concept of power generation had already been sent to the State House of Assembly for approval.

According to him, Lagos State has less than 1,000MW while the fundamental issues remain with generation, transmission and then distribution.

“Who is transmitting? It is still owned primary by the Federal Government but in Lagos State, we have become creative and we have done Independent Power Project (IPP) before through which we were able to generate 47.5MW which was distributed short-circuiting transmission.

“So, if it works, does it look like a template we can now use to get power freedom or what we call power security? If we say we are the fifth largest economy in Africa and we are not in control of how power is generated in an economy that wants to move from fifth to third, then something is wrong. So, what we are saying is let’s find a way to short-circuit them within the ambit of the law.

“If the law allows you to have independent power and going through the regulatory commission then you are smart enough to do that. The only thing we have done is to get permission from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to create clusters of embedded power in our State and if we are able to do it, we become a test case for the rest of the economy.”

On the collaboration with electricity distribution companies, Ambode informed that the state government was willing to stand as the guarantor for the people to get power supply round the clock.

“The idea is that how can we have a mid-point on how to get 24/7 power? The generator that people are using is extremely expensive and what we are saying is that can we work with all these stakeholders and push the tariff for example from N20 to maybe N40 but guarantee the people of 24/7 power? So, if I am able to do that and I get the confidence, I will just stand on behalf of Lagosians to say that the new tariff as agreed by all of us, if we can provide it for the people 24/7, they are likely to pay.

“In case they don’t pay, I get financially exposed. That is what we are trying to do; we become the guarantor on behalf of Lagosians and then if all those things work out, by this time next year, people will have constant power supply. As a government, we are strongly committed to power freedom; we want to free ourselves from darkness and we want to open up the sector for more investors,” he said.

Lagos seals 13 hotels, event centers over N427m tax evasion

By Abolaji Adebayo

During the enforcement exercise of tax law on the taxable residents, companies and organizations within the state, the Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has discovered and shut 13 hotels, restaurants and event centers for failure to pay over N426,976,528.87 taxes due under the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Laws of Lagos State 2009.

It would be recalled that the state government had few weeks ago directed all its revenue agencies to ensure prompt payment of taxes and also commence enforcement of payment by all tax defaulters with immediate effect, after the state governor, Akinwumi Ambode had lamented that only about 600,000 Lagos residents were up to date in paying their taxes.

Speaking on the exercise during which the defaulters were discovered, the Director Legal Services of the LIRS, Seyi Alade, warned that all defaulting Hotels, Restaurants and Event Centers would henceforth face the full wrath of the law if they fail to deduct and remit their taxes as provided by the law.

He vowed to expose the names of the entities affected by the enforcement exercise.

Alade maintained that failure to deduct and remit taxes as at when due would attract very serious penalties that might lead to the sealing, seizure of the goods and chattels and criminal prosecution of principal officers of recalcitrant entities.

He declared that LIRS was in the habit of giving multiple notifications to the taxpayers to inform and remind them of their tax liabilities before taking any legal action against them, adding that only unruly taxpayers were shut down as in the present case.

He therefore urged all business entities operating in the state to ensure prompt remittance of their taxes to avoid costly disruptions on their businesses as a result of the exercise.

Banire faults Lagos 24hrs demolition notice on Mother’s property

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

The National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire, has raised alarm over moves by Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to allegedly demolish his aged mother, Sarat Banire,’s house in Ikeja within 24 hours if planning permits were not tendered.

Banire, who is currently, in Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, added that the building, located at 24A, Remi Fani Kayode Street, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, was leased to him by the Federal Government and that he never carried out any structural work on it.

Apparently concerned by the government demands, he hinted that the structure was never undergoing reconstruction because it was fit for the purpose for which it was acquired on lease.

Banire who raised the alarm in a statement made available to the Guild, accused the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, of vendetta over his stance on political issues.

 

He linked the threat to demolish the house to his face-off with Ambode, saying that having failed to remove him as the National Legal Adviser of the APC, the party to which they both belong, Ambode was now targeting his properties.

In the statement titled: “Lagos State Government and Politics of Vendetta,’ argued that the contravention notice issued on November 14th by the state government requires that a building permit be produced for an old building which was leased to his mother.

“The property belongs to the Federal Government of Nigeria who granted a lease to my mother and save for minor renovations to make it habitable, no single efforts at construction or reconstruction has been made by any of us. How on earth could it be heard that a tenant is required to produce a building permit of a property that belongs to her landlord within 24 hours otherwise she risked demolition of the building?

“I had earlier said that the Lagos State government, under the governorship of Akinwunmi Ambode is out on a vendetta and having failed to get me removed as the National Legal Adviser of All Progressives Congress, has targeted my supporters for persecution. The more recent is the invasion and sealing up of the residence of Funmilayo Tejuoso without a court order and in flagrant disregard to pending proceedings of the Lagos State High Court in a suit instituted by Tejuoso’s company and the Lagos State Government.

“I had been expecting that, since I was the ultimate target having received several messages threatening my family members and me, very soon my properties shall become objects of demolition by the vindictive government that is out to wage war against real and perceived enemies. I am, therefore, not surprised to see that my aged mother’s residence is under attack.”

Banire, however, argued that it has never been heard that a tenant of a property produce the building permit by which the property leased to him was constructed.

“It is clear that Minister’s Consent to the lease in accordance with the law is still under processing with the Office of the Minister for Power, Works and Housing in Abuja and same has not come out which prevents the building from being developed. The building is not dilapidated and neither does it constitute danger to any life or property. What exactly brought this building within the context of demolition if not that it is linked to Muiz Banire?

“I want to sound this note of caution to the Lagos State Government that I am not daunted by all these acts of terrorism which it has embarked upon in recent times. My call for internal democracy in APC, prevalence of rule of law and resistance to imposition came out of personal conviction to serve my creator in all ramifications and at every opportunity.

“I am ready for the sacrifice even if I have to in the process sleep on the street of Lagos. Rule of law and institution building remain sacrosanct to me. As far as God continues to protect my life, I will remain resolute on it. As the political repression continues.”

 

Lagos lauds Sterling Bank’s sustainability campaign

Jide Ajia

In a massive show of endorsement of Sterling Bank’s sustainability campaign known as Sterling Environmental Makeover (STEM), senior officials of the Lagos State Government have paid glowing tributes to the initiative, saying it was in line with the state government’s vision of encouraging residents to show respect for the environment.

The Commissioner for the Environment, Lagos State, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, commended Sterling Bank for its outstanding show of commitment to the campaign for a livable environment.

Addressing the mammoth crowd during flag off of mega cleaning exercise which took place at the Computer Village in Ikeja, Adejare said, there was need to have more respect for our environment than we do now.

He stressed that the state government cancelled the monthly sanitation exercise because it believed that cleaning the environment should be part of our daily lives and not just a monthly routine.

The commissioner disclosed that the state government recently introduced the Cleaner Lagos Initiative in a bid to better manage solid waste and urged participants in the cleaning exercise to extend the practice to their different homes as part of their contribution to the emergence of a cleaner Lagos that is fit for human habitation.

Adejare enjoined residents in Lagos not to block drainages with their refuse but to put them in bags and tie the mouths before leaving them in front of their houses for officials of Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) to pick up.

The Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, disclosed that the STEM programme was being held simultaneously in eight other locations across the country to include: Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Rivers, Enugu, Plateau, Kano and in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In his welcome address, Adeola explained that STEM was the bank’s corporate social responsibility initiative which promotes sanitation and helps to reduce the impact of human activities on the environment with the aim of making planet earth a clean and safe place for all.

He added that the STEM programme covered partnership with waste management agencies in 14 states, planting of trees in Bauchi, Gombe and Plateau to combat desertification and an annual national cleaning exercise.

He said the phenomenon of global warming which triggers flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes, among other natural disasters can no longer be denied.

According to him, global warming is not primarily an act of nature. Human activities that lead to the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are dominant influence. These activities are ensuring that global temperature is rising at the fastest rate in 50 years with oceans getting warmer and expanding, thereby causing climate change, expansion of deserts and rise in sea levels.

Calling on Nigerians to treat the environment with care, the Sterling Bank Chief Executive observed that cases of flooding, especially the types experienced in urban neighbourhoods in Nigeria during the wet season, were the result of poor sanitation practices and not acts of nature.

He advised Nigerians to pay better attention to the state of their immediate environment and desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, plastic bottles, empty cans, water sachets and nylons in drainages, canals and highway man-holes.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Ikeja Local Government, Engr. Mojeed Babajide, thanked Sterling bank for the initiative, adding that the local government was very happy to partner with it; he re-echoed the commissioner’s plea for refuse to be properly packed for officials of LAWMA to pick them up in a bid to ensure a cleaner Lagos.

Among other highlights, Olamide Adedeji, a popular hip-pop artiste known as Olamide Badoo, the brand ambassador of STEM thrilled the audience with entertainment and encouragement on the need to keep the environment clean.

Lagos issues N50bn bond to finance waste management

By Jide Ajia

With current statistics showing Lagos State generating about 13,000 metric tons of waste daily, the state government has disclosed its intention to raise N50 billion through bond issuance to finance waste management.

The bond, which is in two series, would see the first series of N27 billion being offered today, Monday 14, at 17.5 percent coupon with a five-year tenor, and offer ends August 25, with an issue rating of A+ by Augusto & Co., at an issue price of N1,000 per unit, while the second series would be offered at a later date.

Commissioner for Environment, Lagos State, Babatunde Adejare, disclosed the feat at an investors’ round-table towards the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), in Victoria Island, Lagos.

The corporate bond was guaranteed by the state, as the state has left waste management to the private sector and only regulate through the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), a subsidiary of Lagos State Ministry of the Environment.

To this end, the state has concessioned, in a 10-year contract, the state’s waste management to Visionscape, an environmental utility group.

Speaking at the gathering, Adejare, said in order to show the seriousness the state government attached to waste management, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode recently signed a new environment bill into law, separating waste management from regulation.

“This is so because the state can no longer be the waste manager and the same time regulator. With this new arrangement, the state will only play as regulator,” the commissioner said.

With this new arrangement, the state would create 27,500 new jobs, and grant tax holiday to any participant involved in waste management, the commissioner said further.

“Outside of the environmental benefits, the Cleaner Lagos Initiative would provide over 27,500 street sweeping jobs and 400,000 indirect jobs within the state as part of a poverty alleviation initiative and incentives such as tax relief and healthcare, life, injury and accident insurance benefits which reflect our desire to tackle the issue of poverty and the chronic unemployment crisis,” he said.

The Manager, Environmental Product and Services Development, Visionscape, Maimuna Maibe, said the utility group specialised in turnkey solutions in areas of sanitation, energy and wastewater treatment.

While speaking at a presentation on how the state intends to manage waste, Maibe said to this end, the Visionscape team was set to use cutting-edge technology and tools to address Lagos waste management needs.

The initiative, expected to start September 1, 2017, and aimed to protect the environment, human health and social living standards of Lagos residents by promoting a harmonised and holistic approach to the challenges, thereby improving operational efficiency.

According to Maibe, the initiative entails the reform and consolidation of various environmental policies including restructuring of the existing waste collection and management system to ensure a sustainable waste management system through incorporation of global best practices and adoption of best-in-class technologies.

So far, the preliminary of the contract has taken Visionscape to 40 waste black spots, and 43 percent of waste excavated are purely organic waste, she said, noting that, with such development, Visionscape would deliver commercial benefit and greater operational efficiency to our clients, reducing risk and helping hem meet the challenges faced in achieving their sustainability goals.

“The company hopes to use over 800 vehicles to manage the over 10,000 tons of waste a day throughout the communities we serve. With a dedicated workforce of over 29,000 skilled employees, we ensure effective and efficient management of every phase of the waste stream”.

Visionscape is an environmental utility group with extensive expertise and innovative solutions to deploy effective integrated waste management system in emerging markets such as Lagos. With a socially conscious business model that places as much emphasis on its social goals as it does its business goals.