Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Felix Obuah, has charged service providers with the agency to take their work seriously or have their contracts terminated.
Obuah also frowned at the renewed criminal activities of some hoodlums and fraudsters, masquerading themselves as revenue agents of RIWAMA, and warned them to desist from such act, or face the wrath of the law.
He noted that the purported RIWAMA agents had been going about the streets extorting and defrauding companies, shop-owners and unsuspecting members of the public of unauthorised levies in the name of the agency.
Obuah, while addressing service providers, on Tuesday, in Port Harcourt, declared that the task to keep Port Harcourt and its environs clean at all times was a mission that must be accomplished and frowned particularly at the nonchalant attitude of some contractors in the discharge of their duties.
He charged the contractors to ensure that their zones were kept clean at all times, while also warning them against abandonment of compactors at dumpsites and directed the immediate removal of such compactors within 24 hours.
The RIWAMA boss acknowledged hardship confronting members of the public and urged service providers to remain resolute, adding that the agency was not unmindful of the challenges often encountered in their effort to keep the state clean and healthy.
Obuah, however, gave kudos to those contractors who against all odds, have performed creditably well, assuring that their entitlements would be cleared soonest.
He had earlier expressed anger at the activities of fake revenue agents, who pose as RIWAMA staff, stressing that the agency “has not directed and does not intend to direct any person or group of persons on such dubious and criminal acts now or in the near future”.
He warned for the umpteenth time that everything that has to do with revenue collection in the state was under the control and supervision of the Rivers State Board of Internal Revenue.
The RIWAMA boss reiterated that “any person harassing shop owners and other business operators for levies or monies of any kind and, or seizing their goods must be criminals and should be apprehended and taken to the Police for prosecution.”
He regretted that “despite persistent cautions and warnings from the agency to members of the public about the environmental laws of the state and the activities of dupes, though not confined to Rivers State, some people have continued to fall prey to the treachery and cheap tricks of these fraudsters.
“The agency has been receiving reports for some time now, and has been desperately trying to track down these criminals through the security agencies”, Obuah noted.
The Sole Administrator lamented that the agency had at several fora stated clearly that “RIWAMA is not a levy-collection agency and does not collect fees for waste management”, warning members of the public to beware of fraudsters.