The foreign firm contracted by the Lagos State government to rid the state of solid wastes has turned to local private waste operators for help in evacuating the wastes from residential areas, PREMIUM TIMES can report.
Visionscape Group, a Dubai-based environmental utility group, contracted by the state government last year is engaged in talks with the local waste operators (also known as public sector partnership, PSP, operators) on collaboration for domestic waste collection.
One of the talks, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, took place between the foreign firm and the Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, an umbrella body of over 350 PSP operators, on January 19th at the office of the firm’s lawyers in Lagos.
At the meeting, both parties agreed to explore collaboration and concluded that their consultants meet to draft possible terms.
Another meeting between both parties’ consultants held on January 22 at Visionscape’s office where it was agreed that the firm would send draft terms as a template to engage individual members the next day.
At the PSP operators’ general meeting on February 1, the group reportedly agreed to consider collaborating with Visionscape on favourable conditions but that all negotiations would be carried out collectively through the Association of Waste Managers while contracts would be signed by individual companies.
However, on February 12, Visionscape shocked the operators by placing advertorials in national dailies calling for Expressions of Interest for the “short haul transportation of municipal and solid waste” in the state.
The advertorial gave the PSP operators two days to submit their interests.
Foreign firm, local waste
Last year, the Lagos State government passed a new environmental law which terminated its previous partnership with the private waste collectors and empowered Visionscape Group and its Nigerian subsidiary, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions, to take their position.
While Visionscape became the sole concessionaire for residential waste collection, the PSP operators were assigned to collect commercial waste from schools, churches, industries, hospitals and other businesses.
An estimated 14,000 metric tonnes (about 490 trailer loads) of solid wastes is generated in Lagos daily, according to the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA).
The new law also saw LAWMA transition from waste collection operations to a new role as a regulatory body.
Last month, Visionscape, which is in a public-private partnership with the Lagos State government, commissioned a Transfer Loading Station in Lagos Island as part of its efforts to rid the state of solid wastes.
The firm claims to manage thousands of tonnes of waste daily, serving over 20 million residents across various communities.
“Our workforce of over 29,000 dedicated employees utilise specialist vehicles and equipment to perform a wide range of services for the efficient management of every phase of the waste stream,” Visionscape stated on its website.
But despite its efforts at waste evacuation, heaps of refuse have continued to be a common sight across the state, from Ojuelegba where refuse bins are overflowing to Okokomaiko where refuse heaps adorn the major road.