Fashola Commissions 40 Skip Trucks, 17,000 Household Wheeler Bins
• Says “our intention is to prevent people from falling ill”
Sep 1, 2009 - Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Tuesday commissioned 40 Skip Trucks and 240-litre Household Wheeler Bins just as he restated the commitment of his administration to preventive rather than curative healthcare delivery in the State.
In his speech at the LAWMA Transfer Loading Station Premises, Simpson Street, Lagos venue of the occasion, Governor Fashola also promised more goodies to those who pay their Land Use Charge tax saying they will be the first to benefit from the investments made with the money.
Noting that the launching of the trucks and bins represent the very essence of the Lagos Economy and transformation of the State, Governor Fashola declared, “What we are doing here today has very significant impact on our communal and public healthcare delivery”, adding, “Our healthcare delivery is preventive and for prevention”.
“As we continue to increase the capacity of our hospitals to save life, we are focusing also on the quality of the environment in which our people move. It is our intention to prevent people from falling ill so that they have no reason to go to hospital”, the Governor said.
According to Governor Fashola who said this was one of the important reasons for the occasion, “An efficient and effective solid waste management will build cleaner environment and help reduce factors which spread diseases and will ultimately help increase the quality of life expectancy in the State”, adding that the launching of the trucks and bins is one way of getting to the desired destination.
The Governor said the Government decided to supply the trucks and bins to reach every nook and cranny of Lagos, especially the Island where a lot of trading and business transactions go on, pointing out that because the roads are not as wide as the major highways, the 10-ton capacity trucks have been found to be more appropriate for the area.
Explaining the genesis of the process that led to the purchase of the trucks and bins, Governor Fashola said, “What you are seeing today is essentially the result of our investment of your taxes – the Land Use Charge – which is the consolidation of the ground rent and the tenement rate”.
He recalled that when the immediate past administration in the State decided to consolidate those two taxes into one to make it convenient for people to pay at once, there were lots of hues and cries adding that there was an agreement then that it would not be reviewed until January 2009.
“But when January 2009 came, we saw the general economic situation and we decided that we would not increase the rate of the tax because we were sensitive to the welfare of the people”, the Governor said.
According to him, the State Government, in spite of that decision, went ahead to procure the trucks and bins from the proceeds of last year’s tax for all the properties and tenements that have paid the tax as a first step.
“This is what you get for your taxes. You will get a lot more – security, waste management, water supply and road infrastructure – and we are assuring that those who put their money in this common wealth, will be the first to benefit from future investments”, the Governor promised, assuring that the goodies will get to every eligible taxpayer in due course.
The Governor thanked the management of the Lagos Records Company which manages the database and billing of the Land Use Charge on behalf of the State and Local Governments saying they have provided the Government with very accurate and reliable data on all of the properties and tenements that have paid their taxes.
Nothing that the efforts of the State have been acknowledged both locally and internationally with the Federal Ministry of Environment adjudging the State the cleanest State of the country for this year, Governor Fashola thanked the stakeholders for their continued partnership with the State Government in keeping the environment clean adding, “This project that you have partnered with us has helped to enrich the Lagos Economy, keep the factories going and keeping people in employment. While the rest of the world is losing jobs, we are creating jobs in Lagos”.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire who was represented by the Special Adviser on Environment Hon Sesan Olanrewaju, said the launch of the Skip vehicles and household bins was in fulfillment of Governor Fashola’s promise to communities where the heavy trucks currently being used for evacuation of waste cannot reach as a result of size, adding that the skip trucks are designed to maneuver narrow routes in order to collect refuse and bring to the high way for the PSP operators.
He reiterated that the 17, 000 household bins are for the tax compliant households across the State adding that the distribution of the bins is to encourage other households to emulate the tax compliant ones by paying their dues as and when due.
In his goodwill message on behalf of his association, Chairman of the Lagos State Waste Management Operators Association, Mr. Adegboyega Adepitan thanked Governor Fashola for the opportunity to partner with the State Government in keeping Lagos clean adding, however, that the operators would like the Government to engage in more enlightenment of the public on the proper disposal of wastes.
Also in his Goodwill message Managing Director of Magron Ventures praised Governor Fashola’s vision of purposeful Waste management and transformation of Lagos, which according to her is being geared towards the right direction to make Lagos an enviable State.
She said Governor Fashola should be highly praised and appreciated, adding, “He has a dream and as a man of action, he wants to realize that dream through LAWMA and the other stakeholders who are contributing their quota to keeping the State clean”.
Other Stakeholders who spoke at the occasion included Mr. Fari Abu Hassan of the GEEPEE Industries Limited who also applauded Governor Fashola for the opportunity given his company and his untiring efforts to keep Lagos clean.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director of LAWMA, Mr. Ola Oresanya, said LAWMA is committed to a cleaner and safer environment in Lagos and appealed to Lagosians to learn how to store their wastes and wait patiently for the collection instead of patronizing cart pushers.
Also present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan, Chairman of the State Chapter of the Action Congress (AC), Chief Henry Ajomale, HRM Oba Riliwanu Akiolu 1, the Oba of Lagos, members of the State Executive Council, Stakeholders and Partners in the waste management of the State and other top Government functionaries as well as Private Sector operators.