By Isaac Olamikan
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Thursday, said his government plan is to transform the state to be the cleanest and greenest state in the country. The governor urged stakeholders in the waste management sector to leverage data and technology to address the problems of waste management in the state.
Obaseki spoke at the Edo State Waste Management Stakeholders Engagement, with the theme, “Repositioning Waste Management for Sustainable Environmental Development.”
The governor, who called for collaboration of all stakeholders to ensure a safe, clean and green environment in the state, said the government will rally political, religious, and traditional leaders, among other stakeholders, to plant a tree on the anniversary of their birthdays.
Addressing the stakeholders, Obaseki noted, “I urge you to come up with data and ideas that would help us solve the challenges facing the waste management sector.
“The issue of waste management cannot be a sole preserve of the government, because the government is one of several people that generate waste. Everybody in society generates waste. It cannot also be a political matter where you have one agency and then we politicians hijack it and say that we have dealt with the issue of waste; that can’t work again.
“Edo is so uniquely positioned in Nigeria; now, we are lighting up the streets and are doing it across the state. Over 10, 000 people move across our state every day,” he noted.
“So, if we make our state attractive and beautiful, would they not stop and spend their money?” the governor queried.
Obaseki further stated, “For me, with the support of all of you, we will start the process of making Edo the cleanest and the greenest state in this country. So, operation clean and green Edo is something that we would launch and I will get the commitment of all stakeholders to plant a tree on the anniversary of their birthdays.
“As a government, we will provide leadership; that is our role. I will not supervise where you centralize waste collection anymore. I expect all of you to tell us how we will go about this and how we can get the commitment of our people,” he added.
Earlier, the General Manager of Edo State Waste Management Board, Charles Imariagbe, said the interventions of the board increased its revenue from N44 million in 2017 to N144 million in 2021, highlighting some challenges faced by the board to include the reluctance of residents to bag wastes, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and refusal to pay for evacuated wastes.
In his contribution, Mr. Ola Oresanya, who delivered his keynote address on: “Edo State Waste Management Vision and Sustainability Goal,” said the vision of the board is to make Edo healthier, cleaner and more beautiful and conducive.