The Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has declared a state of emergency on refuse collection and waste management in the State.
While speaking at an extraordinary meeting held at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, Agodi Secretariat, Ibadan, Makinde said that waste management had become a matter of emergency which is the business of all political appointees, permanent secretaries and the workforce in the State.
The Governor noted that poor waste management could have wider implications on the state of health of individuals in the State, adding that if care was not taken, the health situation of people in the State may worsen.
“I am sure that most of you must have gone through our State and have noticed that as far as our solid waste management is concerned, we are all living in the midst of filth basically. I have listened to the Honourable Commissioner for Environment and Chairman of the Solid Waste Management Authority and I am not satisfied with what I have got.”
Makinde asserted that apart from waste being an eyesore, it also has great implications on health because a filthy environment breeds all kinds of health challenges.
“We need to declare an emergency on our solid waste management. It is a big issue for all of us and we have to take the bull by the horns…What I have asked to be done is to, first of all, mobilize all resources possible and we will all be out this evening (Monday evening) to do the cleanup and supervise it…we are going to Mapo Hall. We have trucks and have mobilized workers.”
The Governor recalled that he had last participated in such an emergency as the Head Boy of his secondary school, Bishop Phillips Academy, Ibadan, and never thought he could be leading another emergency as Governor, adding that no one should misconstrue the exercise for showmanship because an issue like waste disposal has to be taken with all seriousness.
“I have also heard that there are saboteurs who neatly arrange thrash on the median. Well, I wish them luck because we now have security personnel involved and anyone caught importing waste to Oyo State will be dealt with according to our environmental laws.”
Makinde also expressed the belief that within the next three to four weeks, a permanent solution would be found to waste management in the State, which would be a model that would be sustainable and would also be full-proof for the saboteurs.
“We are going to clean it up and put security on alert but that energy and money, which I know they stole from Oyo State, they should do something meaningful with it; they should create jobs for the people of Oyo State with it.”
Governor Makinde declared his administration’s readiness to spend money, resources and a serious level of time to do things that would move the state forward, while encouraging citizens to think about the overall well-being of the State and judiciously utilize the resources the State is blessed with.