Mr Collins Farinto, the National Vice-President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), has warned against continuous dumping of refuse at the entrance of the Apapa sea port in Lagos.
Farinto speaking with our correspondent in Lagos on Sunday expressed his concerns over the development because of its health implications on the public.
Farinto called for a complete stop to the indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the area, describing it as an embarrassment to the country considering the importance of the port to the nation’s economic development.
He decried the mounting refuse heap within the Tin Can Island.
According to him, the various departments that are supposed to be responsible for the removal of the refuse have abandoned their duties.
“None of the government officials responsible for the removal of the refuse has been sanctioned and if this persists for the next one month, there may be an outbreak of epidemic within Apapa area.’’
He pleaded with the government to provide refuse bins and public toilets within and around the ports, markets, bus stops and other public places.
He said this measure would stop the indiscriminate dumping of refuse and open defecation within the ports area by the public.
Farinto said that the challenge of refuse clearing within the ports was beyond the local government; urging the Federal and the Lagos State Governments to urgently intervene.
However, the Chairman of Apapa Local Government, Mr Owolabi Adele, said that the council in conjunction with the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), had started clearing the refuse within the ports and the entire Apapa area.
Adele said that the clearance commenced on Friday, Sept. 20, saying that almost 90 per cent of the refuse had been removed.
“Some of the trucks parked along the port access road are usually giving us nightmare because the compactor often finds it difficult to access the refuse.
“This is as a result of indiscriminate parking of trucks around Apapa metropolis,” Adele said.
According to him, this is slowing the clearing; in fact, the council has been settling quarrels between LAWMA officials and the truck drivers.
“The council will be doing more of enlightenment with the new initiative by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the Blue Box initiative of recycling waste.
“There have been mass production of the blue boxes that will be distributed to the respective local governments in the state,” the local government boss said.
Adele also noted that stakeholders had supported the council to enforce the law on environmental sanitation to reduce indiscriminate dumping of refuse to the barest minimum.
He, however, urged stakeholders as well as Apapa residents to imbibe the habit of cleanliness for a healthy Lagos.