The multi-purpose recycling plant at the Ilokun dump site in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, needs the urgent attention of the state and federal governments.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who visited the site on Monday, March 18, 2019 reports that the plant is at the verge of collapse if there is no urgent attention to restore it.
The multipurpose recycling plant is among the 26 others inaugurated by the Federal Government in 2012 under the Waste to Wealth Initiative.
The initiative, it was gathered, was aimed at ensuring the recycling of plastic materials for industrial use toward generating income for government and create employment opportunities.
The NAN visit to the plant, however, showed that majority of the machines have packed up as confirmed from an interaction with a casual plant operator who claimed that he was paid N10,000 monthly.
According to him, at the inauguration of the plant, several modern machines worth millions of Naira were installed among which are the melting machine, granulator, crusher, cooler, power plant, compressor among others.
He said that it had been awhile that they operated due to the state of the facilities which he claimed had gone bad for some years without intervention by government.
Director of Operations with the Ekiti State Waste Management Board, Mr Osalusi Ayoola, and the main plant operator, Mr Olu Ajayi, confirmed that the plant had been underutilised, but blamed the development on lack of power and poor funding by government.
The officers affirmed that what the immediate past government under former Gov. Ayo Fayose was offering the board for waste management was not even enough to cater for clearing of refuse, let alone maintenance of the plant.
The plant operators also confirmed that the plant was currently lacking the necessary facilities that could ensure smooth operations, saying those available had gone bad and unattended to.
The director and the plant operator both agreed that the plant if well managed, would boost the economy of the state but wondered over the poor attention of government.
“It is under the supervision of Ekiti State Waste Management Agency, but the plant is not on the priority list of the state government.
“Since September 2012 that the plant was handed over to the state government for operation, there has been no budgetary allocation to run it efficiently, but we have the hope that the present administration of Dr Kayode Fayemi will do something.
The Permanent Secretary, the Ministry of Environment, Mr Ibitoye Adeyiola, said that he was recently posted to the ministry.
“Aside that, I have no authority to speak with any journalist on any matter as a civil servant but will implore you exercise some patience until a commissioner is appointed for any clarifications,” he said.
By Opeyemi Aremu-Gbemiro