By Musa Adamu
The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Lagos state government to terminate an agreement it entered into with Visionscape in the water sector, saying the company would only repeat its decimal performance in waste management.
The environmental justice group made the call following general outcry that has greeted the poor operations of Visionscape which the Lagos state government contracted to implement its Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI).
A statement by Spokesman of the group, Philip Jakpor, indicated that state government paved the way for the company to take-over waste management under a PPP arrangement after it introduced a Bill that merged all waste management agencies in the state into one.
It said the law was passed by the state House of Assembly in April 2017 and the company took over refuse management operations from local operators on September 1, 2017.
It said four months into its operations, the streets of Lagos were replete with uncollected waste littering major roads and front of residences in inner streets.
It said most residents had been on an endless wait for their refuse to be evacuated, to no avail, adding that the situation had equally sparked fears of a major epidemic if nothing is done soonest.
It said: “The Lagos state government had also announced last year that it has entered into a Public Private Partnership (PPPs) agreement with Visionscape for the management of Adiyan II water project.’
It said the poor outing of Visionscape did not come as a surprise to civil society and grassroots groups who had not relented in their call for the state government to quit its “PPP misadventure”, which unfortunately also targets the water sector.
It quoted ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi as saying: “The embarrassing showing of Visionscape despite the publicity blitz about its waste management prowess is a reflection of how PPPs fail to deliver. It is disheartening that the state government has picked the same company along with its consortium partner –Metito to manage Lagos water.”
Oluwafemi pointed out that the speed with which the Lagos House of Assembly signed the Bill that opened the door for Visionscape to become a major operator in the waste management sector in Lagos is in itself an anomaly.