Nigeria: Ogun Waste Managers Threaten to Withdraw Services Over N650 Million Debt

Cleaning of Waste
22 February 2024

"The money being owed members, puts over 1000 direct and indirect jobs on the line should they close shops due to lack of funds to continue operations."

The Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAMN), Ogun State chapter, on Wednesday, warned that its members may not be able to render their services of keeping the state clean and safe hygiene-wise any further, due to the over N650 million debt owed them by the state government.

The association said that aside from the N650 million debt, which it lamented had crippled members' businesses, the waste dumpsites in parts of the state were no longer accessible because of their deplorable conditions while the cost of wastes evacuation from homes, streets and highways to dumpsites have also hit the rooftops.

Addressing journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, in the company of some members, the state chairperson of AWAMN, Jolaoluwa Gbenga,

urged the Governor Dapo Abiodun-led government to offset the arrears.

He noted that money being owed his members, puts over 1000 direct and indirect jobs on the line should they close shops due to lack of funds to continue operations.

Also speaking, the Financial Secretary, Seni Olawoyin, said members were being owed their service charges for 18 months to the tune of N650 million.

Mr Olawoyin said over 100 of their members have stopped operations and were unable to pay bank loans used to acquire equipment such as converters because of the state government's indebtedness to them.

In the same vein, the General Secretary, Ogunsanya Kayode, noted that the AWAMN had written many letters separately to the state Ministry of Environment, Ogun State House of Assembly and Mr Abiodun about their plights. He lamented all they had ever got were unfulfilled promises.

In his reaction to the development, the State Commissioner for Environment, Ola Oresanya said the government is aware of the predicament of the waste managers and is already taking steps to ensure that they are paid in a matter of days.

"We are aware of the pains of waste collectors, which can be attributed to the astronomical increase in fuel prices and the high cost of vehicle spare parts.

"All these resulted in the high operation cost, and we have been avoiding the burden transfer to the public through an increase in waste collection charges," Oresanya said.

The commissioner assured that the government was working to address the matter.

He appealed to the waste managers to remain calm and steadfast as a major partner in the public hygiene programme of the state.

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