As part of the newly launched CLEANER LAGOS INITIATIVE (CLI) the State through the Lagos State Commissioner for Wealth Creation and Employment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti, has announced a robust plan to employ over 2% of its entire population over the next few years with the implementation of new environmental policies and procedures.
According to him, the CLI will have employ 25,000 community sanitation workers (CSW) who will be engaged mostly as street sweepers within the next 12 months. “Every sanitation worker will reside in the Ward they operate for convenience and to curb high cost of transportation to work. They will be well trained and given an attractive welfare package. In all, we hope to generate a total of about 45,000 new jobs directly.”
The main idea of the Cleaner Lagos Initiative is to create value and empower those at the bottom of the value chain. It allows citizens to finally be a part of the solution by taking responsibility for their immediate environment all while solving the challenge of poor waste management in their communities.
The sanitation workers will be well trained and equipped with protection gear (uniforms, gloves and boots) and equipment such as pickers, brushes, carts as well as mobile phones to communicate with the control centre. And will be well paid above the current federal minimum wage.
The benefits of a mass employment scheme such as this unprecedented effort and tie directly back to the Lagos State Government’s sustainability goals.
For example: CSWs will only be allowed to work in the communities they live hereby reducing carbon footprint because they will not need to take public transportation which is better for the environment but also has added the advantage for the workers with virtually no transportation cost, there is more disposable incomes which they will be spending within their local communities.
The multiplier effect- from the income trickling down.
In a related development, The Lagos State Government has proposed a paradigm shift in the approach to environmental waste management filled with radical reforms and projects coming up in the near future.
Olusosun landfill that has been a dumping ground for years will soon become a model for urban renewal and waste to wealth initiatives being undertaken by the State.
Speaking at a press conference announcing the launch of the CLEANER LAGOS INITIATIVE, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare stressed the Government’s commitment to finding renewable energy sources for the grossly underserved State.
He noted that five new power stations – one in each division in the state – will be built to generate electricity from waste, and that the numerous dumpsites dotting parts of the state will soon be a thing of the past.
“We are serious about meeting Lagos’ electricity needs because power is the key to economic freedom, we have shown in the past that renewable energy projects can work in Lagos with the use of solar energy but we have only just begun. We must harness expertise from the private sector and utility partners to work with us as we move towards a cleaner, healthier and sustainable Lagos.”
He added regarding the closure/post-closure plans for landfills across the State “We will close down Olusosun and Solus (dumpsites) sometime next year. Dumpsites are dangerous to health and the environment. The leachate and gas to be recovered from the proposed sanitary landfills will be put to good use.
“We plan to regenerate Olusosun and turn it into a park, where intercity buses will end their journey and would no longer be allowed to enter into the city. Passengers will from here now take taxis and intra-city buses to their destinations in town.
On Sun, Dec 11, 2016 at 7:19 PM, Rapid Response Squad <email@example.com> wrote:
The Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of Lagos State Police Command, has discovered fake embassy operating in Lagos where many innocent members of the public had been swindled.
The Policemen attached to the squad swooped on them and two Chinese and two Nigerians were apprehended during the raid on their office situated inside a hotel, Golden Point and Suite on Duduyemi Street in ISOLO.
The Chinese: Liu Honyang, 47, Sun Xinai, 49 , and their Nigerian collaborators; Oriyomi Olawale, 47 and Desmond Chinedu, 25, conspired and swindled Nigerians who had planned to travel out of the country to seek greener pastures.
The Lagos state commissioner of Police Mr. Fatai Owoseni had given expressive approval to the operatives RRS to act on the intelligence reports received from members of the public after Millions of Naira has been collected using Nigeria citizens as cover.
RRS Decoy’s Policemen had lodged in the hotel for 9 days watching and monitoring their activities before eventual arrest.
On hearing the arrest News, some of their victims, showed up at the RRS’s Headquarters, recounting how they were duped respectively, hence their deportation from Trinidad and Tobago.
According to one of the victims , Adekunle Adefuye, “I met these people (suspects) through one of their agents, Dorcas Slyver. She is a daughter to my brother’s pastor in Abeokuta. I told her my intentions and zeal to travel to United States of America.
After a while, she told me to come to Lagos that she can procure the American visa for me.
On getting to Lagos, she took me to these Chinese where I was told that I should go to Trinidad and Tobago.
They persuaded me to go Trinidad and Tobago, that it was easier to secure employment with at least 3,000 dollars as salary”.
He continued; “initially, I declined to take their bait, insisting that I preferred America to Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).
But in the long run, they brainwashed me into agreeing to go to Trinidad &Tobago. It was at this point, I was told that I would pay N1.3 million for the whole process including visa processing and flight fare.
The payment was made in installment. N376, 000 for Visa, ticket N850,000, accommodation N39,000 and Visa Fee N33,000, which I obliged and paid all the monies into Dorcas’ GTB Accounts; 0130671906.
He revealed that he and another person were rounded up immediately they got to Trinidad and Tobago by the country’s immigration officers for coming into the country with fake visas.
“We spent two days underground inside the Police custody. They treated us like common criminals trying to enter the country illegally”, he added.
“We left Lagos enroute Lome on October 19th, 2016. From Lome to Sao Paulo in Brazil.
From there, we moved to Panama where we boarded another plane to Trinidad and Tobago.
On getting to the country, we were arrested by their security operatives accusing us of entering their country with fake visa and documents.
We were locked up for 48 hours before we were deported on October 22nd, 2016 and arrived Nigeria the following day”, he added.
Adefuye stressed, “when we arrived Nigeria, we didn’t let them know we have been deported. They thought possibly we were lucky to have entered the T&T without any challenge.
It was one Good Samaritan that came to our rescue in Trinidad and Tobago, who pleaded for us when they threatened to prosecute us before we were sent back to Nigeria.
On his part, Rasheed Ololade, said that it was same agent, Dorcas Sylver, who persuaded him to go to T&T too, adding that all the money he paid amounted to N1.3M into her account.
“I met Adefuye at their office in Golden Point Hotel and Suites, Ejigbo in Lagos. And we became good friends henceforth.
We were only fortunate to have escaped being jailed in T&T for coming into the country with fake documents and Visas.
They beat hell out of us and starved us for the whole two days before fortune smiled at us. The Police in T and T collected all our belongings including money and threatened to kill us. In fact, they were abusing Nigerians calling us unprinted names.
In fact, we were lucky to have been deported because that country is a junkyard for drug addicts and dealers”, he lamented.
Most of the Nigerians we met there were barely recognisable, and were high on drugs”.
“One of them, confided in me that he was struggling to survive by dealing in drug and that he has resorted to fate since coming home was difficult”.
Another victim, Friday Owah, who was at their office when they were arrested, said that he just paid N600,000 after being convinced to jettison his Europe trip for Trinidad & Tobago.
According to him, “I was introduced to them by one man, Mr. Oscar. I paid directly to Madam Sun’s GT Bank account.
She promised to secure the visa for me within a space of two weeks. By the time the visa was ready, I was unable to eke-out another N850,000 for flight ticket, which made the T&T visa to get expired.
I went back to see her to help me again for same visa. And she told me to pay another N150, 000. It was after I had made another payment of N150, 000 to her account that someone told me they don’t accept stamp visa but only electronic visa is allowed in that country”.
“I went back to explain to her but she denied the information but still insisted that stamp visa is acceptable in that country.
Then, I told her that I was no longer interested in T&T and she should return my money. I came to their office that fateful day to demand for the money when the Rapid Response Squad team came to arrest them”, he added.
Another victim, Lukmon Odeyemi, a footballer by profession, also parted away with N125, 000 for Trinidad and Tobago’s en route visa.
“The lady (Sun Xinai) charged me N400, 000 but I was only able to raise N125, 000 to her with the hope of balancing her by the month end”, he noted.
In his reaction, Liu Hongyag, one of the arrested suspects, said that he only helped her boss to do paper works and documents.
“We operated as separate entity as travel agency under the company’s name, Golden Point Hotel, and Tour but our office is located inside the hotel.
Sun Xinai is my sister, and she is the director of the travel agency. I only do paper works and documents for visa procurement.
I don’t know how she secures visa for people. All what I know is that she travels to Abuja and comes back with that stamped visa. I am a phone repairer”, he stressed.
RRS posited that investigation has further revealed that the Trinidad and Tobago ‘S Embassy has confirmed the Visa fake and the Two Chinese agents unknown.
But Sun Xinai, the major suspect, noted that she was unaware that stamped visa for Trinidad and Tobago was no longer tenable in that country anymore.
Responding to RRS’s visa enquiry, the High Commission of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in its letter dated 7th December 2016, referenced ABJ: 6/2/3/14, read in part:
“…the Mission can categorically confirm that the individual SUN XINAI who is claiming to be an agent of this Mission is unknown to us.
Furthermore, this Mission does not use the services of an ‘agent’ in any capacity whatsoever and has never done so in the past either.
With regard to the authenticity of the attached visas, the Mission can also categorically confirm that those visas were not issued at this High Commission and are clearly fraudulent.
Noteworthy too is the fact that in June 2015, this Mission stopped the practice of issuing stamped visas in passports in favour of individual electronic visas issued from our country’s capital Port of Spain.
The letter was signed by Garth Lamsee, Acting High Commissioner
Items recovered from them during the raid were 25 international passports, 10 laptops, screw driver, 5 phones and paper documents.
While confirming the arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer of Lagos State, Superintendent of Police, SP Dolapo Badmus, said that Police will not rest on its oars in protecting rights of any individual in the country.
She said that the Police are on man-hunt for all their agents and canvassers.
“I will also use this medium to advise the public to be wary of visa agents and anyone who wishes to travel out of the country should direct their applications to the Embassies”, she added.
All the suspects have since been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) for further investigation.