The Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI) has received significant publicity since its launch by the state government recently. According to the governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, the CLI is part of moves to make Lagos comparable with major cities in the world. Currently, the state has an unenviable record of having the largest amount of domestic and industrial waste in the world which is put at 13,000 tonnes per day, ahead of New York’s 10,000 tonnes. In Africa, former war-torn Kigali, capital city of Rwanda is ranked the cleanest. How does Lagos compare to that? Governor Ambode’s ambition is to change all that, and make Nigeria’s commercial capital a mega-city with enviable records environment-wise.
At the inception of CLI, the governor said, “Although we have made significant gains, much to the credit of previous administrations and the private waste operators (PWO). The positive impact that these efforts have had over the years on the Lagos landscape is undeniable. However, we must acknowledge the environmental degradation that plagues the state and the urgent need for a world class comprehensive waste management system that addresses this crucial quality of life issue.The Cleaner Lagos Initiative was established for this purpose.”
He called CLI, “a holistic approach to address the inefficiencies in our current system and identify, develop and implement concepts and solutions that address the challenges we face with unsafe sources of water, food and energy, climate change, air pollution, improper waste management practices, and our dilapidated utilities infrastructure.”
Among others, the CLI has an ambitious goal to make Lagos the greenest city in Africa by 2025. CLI also seeks to promote best practices, including reducing, reusing, and recycling; reduce greenhouse emissions and air pollutants; prevent public littering and improper disposal of waste; lower Lagos’ crime rate with a job creation scheme; and reverse and reducing the impact of climate change.
Organs of CLI
Among the organs established by the Lagos State government to make the CLI work is the Public Utilities Monitoring and Assurance Unit which will be responsible for issuing to every residential premises, a ‘Public Utilities Levy Notice’. According to the enabling law, the PUMAU shall also “have the power to establish levy methodologies that reflects the terms and conditions of the licence issued to the private waste collectors, private operators of landfill sites, incinerators and recycling plant.”
There is also the Lagos State Environmental Trust Fund (LSETF), managed by a board of trustees.
Under CLI, what is called the ‘Public Utilities Levy’ shall “be payable by allhousehold/residential, public, commercial and industrial waste generators;” and “shall replace all services feespreviously payable by waste generators for waste collection and disposal.”The PUL is a property-based annual charge payable by property occupants, determined by the size of the property.The monies are to be put into LSETF and are to be used for the management of commercial, industrial, medical and residential solid and liquid waste, wastewater, and environmental intervention for Lagos State; and will be allocated towards management and maintenance, equipment, contractors and employees, waterways and drainage infrastructure, and beautification of the land.
Special levy for certain areas
The CLI law says that it will designate some “low income residential areas”of Lagos State as “special levy areas.”
Involvement of KAI
Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) has been transformed into Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC). Their function will be towards enforcing regulations under the new environmental laws.
The CLI stipulates various fines ranging from N2,500 to N1 million covering individuals, merchants, and businesses. Activities considered to be violations include failure to clean drains and gutter area, littering/throwing out and non-provision of litter bin in commercial vehicles, dumoing of refuse on vacant. Others include waste burning, failure to pay for service rendered by a private refuse operator, posting of bills among others.
Cart pushers and PSPs
The CLI promises to turn cart pushers and other unemployed youths to “community sanitation workers.” Their pay? N27,000 monthly.For Private Sector Participants (PSPs), there will be a new client – operator contract agreement meant to be a solid contractual agreement between clients and the operators.