By Ajibola Abayomi.
Lagos State Government on Monday arrested 30 cart pushers for dumping refuse indiscriminately on road medians in some areas of the State in the middle of the night.
Chairman of the State’s Task Force on Environmental and Other Special Offences (Enforcement Unit), SP Olayinka Egbeyemi who spoke to journalists, said the arrest was in line with the recent ban on the activities of cart pushers and wheel barrow operators by the State Government.
Egbeyemi, who affirmed that the activities of cart pushers in the State are illegal, said investigations found them culpable in dumping refuse on the road side especially at night thereby sabotaging efforts by the Government to keep the State clean.
He said the Government is poised to go all out to prosecute any persons found to be working against the new waste management policy encapsulated in the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), saying the programme is designed to revolutionalise waste administration in line with global best practices when fully operational.
“There are reports that refuse are littering the Lekki, Victoria Island, Ajah and other parts of the State and investigations reveal that it is the handiwork of unscrupulous elements within Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and their outside sponsors who are not comfortable with the new arrangement for the management of waste in the State and are hell bent on sabotaging government effort and frustrating them from carrying it out.
“The State Government has vowed to go all out against the saboteurs and after their sponsors and punish them in line with the laws of the State.
“We also need to let Lagosians know that it is illegal to use cart pushers to evacuate refuse and they should stop encouraging it. There are PSP vehicles that come around to pack refuse and they are the ones they should patronise and not these cart pushers.
“We want to notify all these cart pushers that their activities are illegal in Lagos. Lagos is a mega city and we have all it takes to collect refuse. So, the issue of going to the streets and collecting refuse and then dump same on the road is an act of sabotage to the government,” he said.
Egbeyemi said the suspects arrested would soon be charged to court for prosecution, just as he assured that Government would leave no stone unturned in keeping the State safe and clean.
Besides, the Task Force Chairman said that the enforcement would continue across the State until the activities of cart pushers and other unscrupulous elements found to be frustrating government’s efforts are completely brought to a halt.
“For the past two to three weeks, we have been noticing refuse on the roads and investigations have revealed that part of those carrying out such act and sabotaging government efforts are these cart pushers and probably there might be some people behind them,” Egbeyemi said.