Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcourt
A waste Management firm, the Initiates Plc (TIP), has decried the inability of government to manage refuse disposal across the country despite billions of funds injected annually for refuse management.
An expert in waste management and the Chairman of TIP, Mr Joe Anosikeh said, it was regrettable that some state governments in Nigeria spend about N700million monthly on refuse collection yet the cities remains dirty and polluted.
Anosike stated this in Port Harcourt at the weekend during the 18th Annual General Meeting of the firm, adding that, the hazardous environment the citizens are exposed to, was negatively impacting on the workforce and economy.
According to Anosike, “ Over the years, its government that manages public waste , government collects and disposes waste but time has come when government can no longer carry the load alone where a state government spends between N500 million to N700 million monthly (6 billion annually) managing waste ,yet no tangible result was seen, the cities are still littered and polluted”
He added, “lack of proper waste management affects the economy, increases sickness, reduces value of properties and hounds investors”
To check this ugly situation, Anosikeh called on state governments to hand over waste management to private organisations, adding that a policy for private-government partnership in waste management would enable the managers create wealth, control diseases and check hunger in the country.
He said, when waste is properly managed through the private-government partnership, government can invest the huge funds it spends annually on waste to other positive areas of the economy such as power, road and other capital projects that can improve the living standard of Nigerians.
He noted that globally, waste management industries are growing in innovation, expertise and service delivery as Nigeria cannot be left behind.
“Nigeria economy is gradually sliding into being driven by open- market forces based on cost effectiveness and efficient service delivery. The implication of this in the waste management industry is growth in expertise and innovation, competitiveness, and waste accountability.
“The current economic situation in the country has further triggered off in the industry, a shift of responsibility from government to individual and businesses, a shift from government provision of service to private sector participation above all increasing demand for hazardous waste management service,” he stated.