‘New Lagos environmental law mortgages state to foreigners’
A Lagos group, Concerned Citizens Forum, has given a fresh insight into the state’s new environmental law, describing it as not only draconian, unprogressive and anti-people but designed to mortgage it to foreign interests.
In a statement issued in Lagos and signed by its convener, Michael Olayiwola, the group called on the State Government to immediately embark on a review of the law, stating that if implemented as it is, it will not only render many workers jobless, it will kill local capacity development and investment in the state, a cardinal interest of the government.
Olayiwola accused the state government of trying to wholly make a foreign company, Visionscape, which has just set up its corporate headquarters in Ikoyi, to take over the business of waste collection and disposal in the state, wondering why a government that has professed to be keen about youth empowerment and human capital development should embark on displacing Nigerians and small scale businesses owned by them and substituting them with foreign business interests that have no known business root in the country before now.
Olayiwola claimed that the government’s determination to mortgage the state to foreign business interests was further exposed by the provision of the law, which puts the foreign waste operators’ payment on first line charge on government expenditure and provide an irrevocable service payment order for them.
The group said it was miffed at the provision of the law for public utilities levy (PUL) to replace the current billing system for waste collection and disposal in the state, stating that the plan to have the new levy that was likely to be much higher paid in lump sum annually as against the current practice of paying the waste service charge monthly or bi-monthly.
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