Opinion: Visionscape’s Albatross – The Dirty Lagos

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By Dotun Hassan (Esq)

In Lagos State today one cannot phantom how much hips of stench of smelly cabbages, toxified with dirty atmosphere that stears one in the face everwhere you turned to, and this recalcitrants audacity has recently taken over and ravaged the entire Landscape by Visionscape.

It is highly disheartening and embarrassing to see how the supposedly once pride ‘mega city’ turned into ‘dirty city’, all within three years, as a result of lack of concise and conscious people oriented governance by the Akinwunmi Ambode led government of Lagos state, through the direct insensitive and power feast tussles(though pretentiously resolved) going on between the Pro-Ambode Visionscape and Pro-PSP/LAWMA operators, whose debacles of evil motives has degraded the once known cleanest city in Nigeria, after a cantankerous longwork out of the woods of a then dirty Lagos during pre-BRF era, but this became a paradigm shift led by the former MD of LAWMA, Mr Ola Oresanya, an erudite and highly well informed waste management expert, yet unforgivingly, he was thrown out of office for reasons best known to the current administration, only to resurrect the old wounds of Lagos dirts back to the history archives.

One must be thrown aback by this recent unbecoming menace that brazenly flungs open display of arrogance and frontal ineptitude by the premeditated privately smuggled waste management company under a protracted and most confused undercover operation under the aegis of ‘cleaner Lagos initiative’ a.k.a Visionscape, wherein the best managed and well experienced private operators where short changed and thrown out of business due to greed and penchant for power.

For it is most absurd to see the legal attrition and wanton display of crudity of inexperienced and mindless shenanigans by the current administration to thwart the laudable achievements of Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, the immediate former Governor of the Center of Excellence and current Federal Minister of Power, Works and Housing, wherein in the bid to throw away the bad baby with the bad waters led to this inglorious waterloo.

Also, this predicated on the ill approach by the state government who has continually finds itself in serial self defense of simultaneous oppressive and pervasive anti-masses policies and over burdensome taxes ranging from the astronomical Lekki Toll gate increased fares to the most regretful Land Use Charge promulgated Gestapo styled orders; empowering Alfa Beta as the lifetime conductor and conduit of corruption and tribulations in Lagos state, to the Visionscape overnight robbery of the use of state owned infrastructures and financing to fester its inexperience myths.

Similarly, wherein a designed project by the World bank and international donor agencies was diverted to establish this cruel initiative.

We expected it to consolidate and toll the previous administration’s positive drive, which instead of throwing out of business the PSP operators away due to their multiple deadlocks and hydra-headed challenges of lack of good compactor trucks and other facilities, like abandonedly uncleared loans and unbearable debt burden obtained from various commercial banks then, the BRF’s government then took a bold step to revamp and ameliorate the waste management operations and synergy by buying back and paying off loans and giving brand new Tata trucks to all operators on installment payments, while also strengthening its frontiers of massive operational investments by adding more to its LAWMA operations workforce with provisions of brand new and various sizes of vehicles and amenities, supportive street sweepers system via free buses and highly encouraging allowances and incentives to mention a few, this inevitably brought Lagos to a lime light of a progressive, cleaner and most sought after mega city.

This nailed the gasket and buried hips of stenches, blockage of drainage system and built a robust and healthy lifestyle in Lagos state, compared to now, which is the exact opposite of what we used to be.

This unending scenarios and trademarks of errors are the same almost in every parts of “Eko”, from median hips to roadside bombs of smelling wastes, to incriminate dumping of refuse everywhere you go, while most points and street junctions have been transformed into mini and massive dump sites, depending the areas ranging from lowbrow to highbrow: Mushin, Ikorodu, Agege, Magodo, Victoria island, VGC, Eti-osa, Ajah, Badore, Lagos island, even precinct of the seat of government house at Alausa secretariat by the central mosque is not left out and other conspicuous locations of dearths.

It is highly injurious and dangerous to the health to see how lagosians are made to suffer under this administration which care less about the staple welfare of her citizens.

Regrettably, I believe much is expected from a state that generates monthly over 70Billion naira of IGR cum Federal government allocations and other privately owned investments opportunities, with countless numbers of streams of incomes to now reduce itself to a lame duck.

We implore the state to look beyond its unproductive and uncharitable prides, to aggressively move to resolve and stem the growing tides of huge embarrassments, and urgently ameliorate the situation by stepping down from her high Trojan horse and frontally engaging all stakeholders to assist and resuscitate the dying ‘king of the jungle’ (Lagos) back to life.

Beyond politics, Lagos deserves the best, for a healthy society produces wealthy people ….

To whom much is given much is expected.

The opinion expressed in the above article is that of the guest writer and not The New Diplomat’s

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5 COMMENTS

  1. The heaps of refuse cannot be said to be Visionscape’s albatross. Why must the company be mentioned in this article when it is evident from the author’s piece that the deplorable situation currently being witnessed in the environmental sector is largely due to a gross lack of political will and unnecessary dilly-dallying on the part of the Lagos State Government.

    Like every other stakeholder in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, Visionscape is simply a participant playing by the laid down rules. That they have capacity and expertise more than any other operator should be an advantage to them and not an albatross.

  2. It baffles me how you so called journalists come up with articles like this. You bunch are lazy and corrupt people and you are supposed to be people’s hope. Do proper investigations before writing and try to be objective. This article is obviously one sided. Gov. Ambode of Lagos is making strides as gov of Lagos state. The evidences are there. I will point just one to you. Traffic in Lagos is better thanks to the new bridges and barricades on major road.

    You are quick to praise the former MD of Lawma Mr. Onasanya but display disdain for the new company visionscape. If Onasanya was doing a fantastic work, he wouldn’t have been laid off. Lagos is dirty, both PSP and Visionscape are culpable; because they are joint stakeholders in waste management. Mind you, Visionscape is barely 5months into this contract.

    I won’t shy away from the fact that some parts of Lagos are dirty but trust me I see acts of sabotage in most cases.
    I stay in Magodo and work in Ikoyi. I don’t see heaps of refuse in these areas. It says something. These are places with sane people and with good security in which to carry out these acts of sabatage might be difficult.

    Every mega city must be able to consolidate and synchronize it activities. This, I believe is what Lagos state is trying to do with the Cleaner Lagos initiative and Visionscape is well positioned to achieve this objective. With its in-depth technical know how( they are displaying this in the landfill in Epe) and financial muscle to carry out overhaul of the Lagos state waste management system. Please give them time, use your medium to encourage change, admonish your psp payer to join in this initiative.
    PSP have been well absorbed in the whole initiative, they should do their part and stop lamenting. They should get to work.
    You can also use your medium to advocate for environmental literacy. People should be informed, they should know how to handle their waste; you can help with sensitization and information dissemination.

    Change is imminent and people like you would always try to challenge it, but it must happen.

    NB: “You” as used in this comment refers to the Author of this article. Dotun Hassan

  3. The only description missing from this piece is “Sponsored Article”. The new diplomat is obvioisly a front for the rogue PSP’S and their politics allies… a far cry from a credible news source.

    Lagos has never been the Cleanest city in Nigeria, that is a lie. It is our hope that it will become so but first Lagosians must change their attitudes and behaviour and be guided by best practices. We must take reposibility for a Cleaner Lagos by not dumping waste on the streets, throwing waste in the gutter, disposing of garbage anyhow. When we have done our part then It becomes just to ask for others to be help accountable.

    The PSP’s were feeding fatal on N300m a month working at below 50% capacity, inflating equipment numbers and presenting ghost companies. They have always relied on the cart pushers to do their dirty work. This is why Visionscape had to clear over 2000 illegal dumpsites. When the PSP’S Realised that the schemes was up the downed their tools… Mind you those tools are out-dated because they refused to invest in new equipments and wanted to rely on Government handouts. VISIONSCAPE has the capacity, they have the expertise and if partnered with will definately create a more efficient and effective value chain.

    Let the PSP’S doing their work. The reaponsibilty of waste collection has been ceded back to them. Visionscape will focus on infrastructure. The PSP’s have been offers N2.5billion the rogue unit has decided. Thats is just plain greed.

    The PSP’s should get back to work. A list has been generated and distribution by ministry of environment. IF YOUR STREET IS DIRTY CALL THE NUMBER OF YOUR ASSIGNED PRIVATE SECTOR PARTNER (PSP)…

    Itesiwaju Eko…

  4. First of all, I think it is unfair to paint Visionscape as an opportunist in this article. If the PSPs (WCOs), were actually doing what they had been paid to do in the first place, then even the current administration would have found it difficult to convince Lagosians of the need to employ the services of a more contemporary and technologically driven company.

    You people unduly blame Visionscape for the heaping waste in Lagos forgetting that it is now the PSPs (WCOs) job to collect both commercial and private wastes. It is not Visionscape’s fault if there is in fighting amongst the other parties concerned with waste collection in the state, is it?

    We mustn’t also forget that Lagos State was paying the PSP (WCOs) a huge monthly sum, pre-Visionscape, and to little, if any effect. A great majority of them were receiving lumps sums and then going round to pay bin-pushers peanuts to clear our wastes, who would then dump them in unauthorized dumping grounds, thus causing the health menace that you erroneously think is Visionscape’s fault today.

    The PSP (WCOs) are the ones who should now take the initiative by, firstly ending the silly in-fighting amongst themselves, Secondly offer help lines to all their PSP coverage areas so that people know whom to call, why and when.

    The rising waste profile in Lagos is now the PSPs fault…

  5. It is so clear that this journalist was not objective from the onset and it looks more like a script given to him. The system of waste management does not start with the waste management players be it PSP or Visionscape,it starts with every single Lagosian.

    The government wont bring in a company if the PSP operators are working in the first place so please enough of the bad scripts about Visionscape. The responsibility is on PSP to work not on Visionscape.

    We have over 300 waste operators in Lagos State and how many do you see working? Most of these operators pay cart owners to do their job,yet they collect the cash directly from government without doing anything tangible. Every government has her way to run things,no law says Governor Ambode must continue the last regime system of administration especially when there is a loop hole in the system.

    Let Lagos work…

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