The Lagos State Government on Saturday announced a ban on the operations of cart pushers and wheelbarrow operators, saying their activities are inimical to the environmental cleanliness of the state.
This is even as the uncertainty over the fate of private waste disposal firms has led to non-clearance of waste from most streets and waste dumps across the state.
A medical doctor, Bisi Abikoye, who expressed worry at the spreading heaps of refuse, told CITY VOICE this could lead to outbreak of epidemic in the state.
He said: ‘The presence of rotten waste all over the street is a public health issue and it is a surprise really that the state government has left this unattended to over the last few months. It really is an eye sore.’’
However, Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, in a statement in Lagos, said that with the flag off of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative (CLI), the continuous activities of cart pushers would pose a threat to the success of the initiative.
He said investigations had revealed that the cart pushers were responsible for most of the illegal dumping of waste in canals and road medians at night which causes flooding.
Bello said that aside from constituting environmental nuisance, they also constitute security threat.
“What the state government has discovered is that these people use the night to perpetrate all sorts of dastardly acts.
“They dump refuse indiscriminately on the median of major roads and highways.
“They also pose serious security threats because they use those carts to hide arms and ammunition under the guise of carrying refuse to rob unsuspecting residents,” he said.
Bello said the state government had finalised plans to ensure that the CLI covers every area of the state and that refuses were well packed and collected.
He urged residents to desist from patronising the banned cart pusher operators or risk prosecution.
“Security agencies in the state have been directed to ensure that those found still operating are arrested and prosecuted according to the State Environmental Laws.
“The law also applies to residents who patronise cart pushers. It is an offence and the state government will not hesitate to enforce the law to put a stop to such practice,” Bello said.
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