From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Weeks after banning waste cart pushers from operating in the state, the Ogun State Government has finalised plans to rehabilitate and incorporate them into its new waste management reforms for optimal performance.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment and Chief Executive Officer of the Ogun State Waste Management Authority (OGWAMA), Ola Oresanya disclosed this on Tuesday, during a meeting with leaders of cart pushers, scrap vendors and Community Development Associations in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Represented at the meeting by the director of operations, OGWAMA, Akinbode Sofela, Oresanya said the state government decided to incorporate the cart pushers into its new waste management reforms instead of throwing them into unemployment markets.
He said the reforms would offer them new opportunities through its structured Private Service Providers (PSP) scheme, where they will work as loaders and earn a steady income.
Oresany added that some of the cart pushers will be employed as community recyclers at community recycling centres to be established soon in all the twenty local government areas of the state.
“Under the new reforms, you will see that you have more than enough to do in the coming weeks. all you need to do now is to brace up for the new challenge as the Dapo Abiodun-led government is determined to change your narrative from environmental bad boys to good boys,” the OGWAMA boss hinted the cart pushers.
He further informed them that training programmes will soon be organised to equip them for the challenge ahead, urging them to cooperate with the state government for the realisation of the new reforms.
Oresanya, however, warned that any cart pusher who fails to comply with the new arrangement will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the Ogun State Environmental Laws.
He equally cautioned scrap vendors to desist from rummaging through the bagged waste in search of metal scraps, saying that their operations will soon be regulated to meet the environmentally accepted standard.
Responding, the leader of the cart pushers association, Hassan Amidu thanked the state government for the new initiative and pledged the cooperation of his members on the environmental initiative.
Speaking on behalf of the CDAs, Olatunde Okunowo, called on communities to stop patronizing cart pushers and scrap vendors for the successful implementation of the new waste management reforms