Executive Vice Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Restoration of Law and Order to Apapa, Mr Kayode Opeifa, has called for the support of Apapa residents toward cleaner environment and an end to open defecation.
Opeifa, during a visit to Lagos office of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, December 31, 2019, said the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) was working round the clock to clean up Apapa.
He said that his team was working on correcting an anomaly in refuse disposal introduced by the Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration which encouraged bringing of refuse to the roads.
Opeifa, who is working with a team of the state government which includes LAWMA, said that daily evacuation of refuse in Apapa had begun despite challenges of accessibility.
He said that the modern refuse collection system did not support dumping of refuse on the roads or any roadside collection methods.
“LAWMA is aware of the sanitation condition in Apapa and have moved in and are working and making progress, they complain of accessibility, we just need to improve on the efficiency of their operations,’’ he said.
The committee vice-chairman told NAN that his team was also making progress in cleaning up markets in Lagos.
On open defecation in Apapa and other parts of the state, he called for the support of all residents, business concerns and public institutions to stop the trend.
He said that people could use toilets in public places like petrol stations, eateries, event centres and other public utilities and so they had no justification for open defecation.
He said that a recent study carried out by the state government revealed that new residents, who have not lived in Lagos for up to two years, were usually responsible for the open defecation.
Opeifa said that the survey indicated that such new residents usually stopped the habit after integration into the system.
“People talk about public toilets as if governments somewhere in the world build public toilets. I lived in U.S. for almost 10 years.
“There is nothing called public toilet. If I am going along the road and I am pressed, I will just use the nearest petrol station or super market or eatery, that is where to get the nearest public toilet.
“All government institutions, every commercial outlet should make its space available for people to use,’’ he told NAN.
Opeifa said the state government encouraged petrol stations and event centres to have toilet to assist residents to reduce the problem to the barest minimum.
On the congestion in Apapa, Opeifa appealed for the collaboration of critical stakeholders to decongest the ports.
He added that the disorderly conduct by truck drivers was responsible for chaotic road situation in Apapa.
He said that articulated vehicles in Apapa were important to the economy as such stakeholders must corporate to root out agents of corruption benefiting from disorderliness around the port and the gridlock.
The executive vice chairman explained that his team adopted measures to cope with the increased pressure on the port due to border closure and had succeeded in getting trucks off the roads.
He called for the understanding of Apapa residents whose net worth had increased by living in the area as well as the support of the media in winning the war on restoration of law and order.
Opeifa said that the media should understand and report factually the issues causing congestion at Apapa ports and roads to find lasting solutions to the problems.
He expressed regret over the killing of traffic officials and the backlash from those who benefited from the confusion in Apapa axis and appealed for all hands to be on deck to restore sanity to the area.
By Grace Alegba and Yemi Adeleye