Friday, 15 November 2013

AJEGUNLE: HIKE IN WASTE DISPOSAL LEVY

ANOTHER EXPLOITATION OF THE POOR RESIDENTS OF AJEGUNLE

The Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN), a party formed by the Democratic Socialist Movement with other change seeking elements and supported by Ajegunle Peoples’ Movement (APM) to give workers and poor masses a genuine political alternative, condemns the latest hike in waste disposal levy paid per room from N150 to N200 by PSP operators in Ajegunle community. We call on residents to reject the new levy and demand an immediate reversal to the fixed rate approved by LAWMA

This hike in levy, while it is calculated to increase the profits of PSP operators and their private owners who are cronies and party faithful of the Lagos State APC Government, will expose the poor masses living in Ajegunle, who already are overburdened by heavy levies and multiple taxation from the AJIF Local Government to further exploitation by PSP operators/LAWMA, who provide poor and haphazard services to Lagosians.

POOR AND INADEQUATE SERVICE

The PSP operators are supposed to come once in a week to collect refuse. Besides the fact that this arrangement is not adequate as refuse is generated every day the operators do not come every week as planned.  This often times forces residents to opt for alternative means to dispose their waste; either by employing the services of cart pushers where it is affordable or to dispose refuse on street corners, into canals, with dire consequences to lives and properties.

NOT THE MASSES FAULT, BUT GOVERNMENT FAILURE

First and foremost, the SPN blames the anti-poor policies of government that has prioritized profit for the privileged few at the expense of the needs of the vast majority. The argument that government alone cannot be responsible for waste disposal management and using that to justify the introduction of private sector participation (PSP) is a way of shying away from its responsibility.

While Fashola APC’s government in Lagos state try to blame the poor working masses and residents for the dirty environment, the reality is that government has failed to plan the environment in such a way that basic infrastructure is guaranteed in which case refuse disposals would have been well taken care off. 

To self serving capitalist politicians, every crisis situation is an opportunity to cash in on and make super profit at the expense of poor masses. This is the case in waste management’s policy by the Lagos State APC Government, with 354 licensed PSP operators, yet Lagos State is still far from being clean and pollution free.

Just recently, owing to complaints and petitions from residents due to the state of poor services and cutting corners by refuse operators, the Lagos State Government through its regulatory agency LAWMA was forced to suspend the license of 20 PSP operators, who often times make use of underhand methods, rickety vehicles and overworked workers, mostly without gloves, mask, goggles or any insurance cover. And to crown it all most of these workers are paid slave wage of N3,000 (Three Thousand  Naira ) a month, far less than  the 18,000 minimum wage whose value has even been completely eroded by increasing inflation.

WHAT MUST BE DONE

Recently, accordingly to the Economist Intelligent Unit (EIU) in its 2013 annual survey of 140 major cities across the world, Lagos is ranked as the 4th worst city in the world. This is despite the grandstanding by the Fashola’s Government to transform Lagos Sate into a so-called “mega city” which has resulted in markets being destroyed and poor people’s houses and their means of survival demolished by the Lagos State Government.

Flowing from the above argument, it is clear that the only way forward for working people and the poor masses is to fight to enthrone and put in place a workers and poor people’s government that is determined and ready to massively invest in basic infrastructure to meet the needs of all. This is why we call on workers, students, artisans, traders and residents to join SPN and build it into a mass party in order to bring about the desirable and genuine change.

The Socialist Party of Nigeria demands the following:

1.      That the hike in PSP levy be immediately reversed.

2.      Waste disposal management should be run by local government under the democratic control of elected representatives of communities and workers.

3.      For a crash programme to revitalize public works in local government areas with massive public funding to create and provide needed jobs and services.

4.      The SPN supports the demands for genuine Local Government under workers and residents democratic control.

5.      Refuse collector workers must be paid N18000 minimum wage and provided with adequate working and safety tools to protect them hazard and diseases.

Leaflet Issued and Circulated by the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Lagos State Chapter of SPN

November 2013

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