PSP waste operators ask court to stop Lagos State from displacing them

Posted by News Express | 2 February 2017 | 3,374 times

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Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

  All the Private Sector Participants (PSP) who are the operators of domestic and commercial wastes in Lagos State, have approached the Lagos High Court to stop the Lagos State Government from displacing them or replacing them with new operators. And if their resolutions are implemented to the letter, the regime of refuse heaps may soon return to the state. In a suit filed on their behalf by eminent lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Esq., the waste operators are asking the court to urgently uphold and protect their existing rights and benefits so that the government will not appoint new operators to replace them. Listed as defendants in the suit are the Lagos State Government, the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Commissioner for the Environment, the proposed foreign operators and their local agents, that is Visionscape Group, Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Limited and ABC Sanitation Solutions Limited.

In addition, the PSP waste operators are seeking an order of interlocutory injunction to  restrain Lagos State and its officers from terminating, cancelling, annulling, jeopardising, discriminating against  or in any order manner determining the operations of the Claimants as domestic solid waste collectors in Lagos State, whilst they also asked the court to restrain the foreign operators and their local agents from taking over the collection, disposal and management of Domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State.

In a 77-paragraph affidavit deposed to by Mr. Olabode Coker, the Chairman of the Association of Waste Managers, comprising over 350 operators, it was stated that the operators had helped Lagos State to rid the state of refuse, spanning several years of investments human and material resources, which has also involved professional trainings and education. The operators claimed that Lagos State had encouraged them in the past to improve their operations through acquisition of modern trucks, for which many of them obtained loans from banks with huge interest rates and the consideration was to be using the resources generated from the waste operations to service the said loans, they have built offices in various parts of Lagos State for the smooth administration of their operations. They also claimed to have been operating at a loss because of the refusal of Lagos State Government to enact a legislation that will facilitate the enforcement of collection of dues. It was further alleged in the suit that the location and dilapidated state of the dumpsites makes the operations of waste disposal burdensome as trucks have to waits hours in order to discharge waste, leading to congestion and the bad road leading to the dumpsites have caused their trucks to break down very often, with huge cost of maintenance.

 The waste operators are seeking the following reliefs from the Court:

 (A) A DECLARATION that the Claimants as Private Sector Participants-Waste Operators, Stakeholders and Investors in Waste Collection, Transportation and Disposal Management in Lagos State, are entitled to collect, transport and dispose of Domestic solid waste in Lagos State.

(B)  A DECLARATION the Claimants are entitled to remain and function as waste operators entitled to collect, transport and dispose of Domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State.

(C) A DECLARATION that the decision of the 1st-3rd Defendants to transfer, remove, eject, or in any other manner disturb or hinder the Claimants from collecting, transporting and disposing of Domestic solid waste in Lagos State is inequitable, arbitrary and inconsistent with the rights and obligations of the Claimants.

(D) A DECLARATION that the decision of the 1st-3rd Defendants to transfer, remove, eject or in any other manner disturb or hinder the Claimants from collecting, recouping and or managing directly the proceeds of domestic solid waste services rendered by the Claimants is inequitable, arbitrary and inconsistent with the rights and obligations of the Claimants.

(E) A DECLARATION that the decision of the 1st-3rd defendants to license one or two waste collector(s) solely as the operator(s) to collect and dispose Domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State is arbitrary and inconsistent with the rights and obligations of the Claimants.

(F) A DECLARATION that the 1st-3rd Defendants are not entitled to license, authorize or permit any person(s), body or organisation(s), especially and including the 4th-6th defendants, as the sole operators to collect Domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State.

(G) AN INJUNCTION restraining the 1st-3rd Defendants, their servants, officers or privies from authorising, licensing or permitting any person(s), body or organisation(s), especially and including the 4th-6th defendants, as the sole operators to collect Domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State, to the exclusion and detriment of the claimants.

(H) AN INJUNCTION restraining the 1st-3rd Defendants from transferring, removing, and or ejecting from the Claimants herein, the collection of proceeds of domestic waste services, rendered by the Claimants, being currently collected, recouped and/or managed directly by the Claimants.

(I) AN ORDER directing the 1st-3rd Defendants to continue working, relating, partnering with and recognising the Claimants as waste operators entitled to collect, transport and dispose of Domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State.

(J) AN INJUNCTION restraining the 1st-3rd defendants from terminating, cancelling, annulling or in any order manner jeopardising or determining the operations of the Claimants as Domestic solid waste operators in Lagos State.

(K) AN INJUNCTION restraining the 4th-6th defendants from taking over the collection, disposal and management of Domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State.”
No hearing date has been fixed for the suit.


Source: News Express

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