… As Lagos State Marks World Habitat Day

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has urged Lagosians to embrace the ‘Blue Box’ programme and ‘Community Clean-Up’ Campaign initiatives of the government, designed to strategically manage solid waste in the State.

The Governor, who gave the charge today in his keynote address at an event organised to mark the World Habitat Day at the Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Alausa, described the programme as Lagos’ strategic and innovative adoption of technology to realise the benefits of recycling.

Sanwo-Olu, represented at the ceremony by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said the theme of the World Habitat Day “Frontier Technology as Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth” was apt for Lagos State due to ongoing efforts towards solving the challenges of waste management.

According to him, “The World Habitat Day Celebration offers an opportunity for making our cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable as stated in SDG II. The Blue Box Initiative is essential to the full realisation of the benefits derivable from a technology-driven recycling process”.

He averred that technology and best practices in effective and efficient waste management is Lagos’ surest approach to tackling its waste challenges attributed to the growing population.

The Governor declared that effective management of waste is now a global priority, as it is seen as a valuable resource that can be turned to wealth, through technology, adding that it offers the potential of better, cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for everyday problems.

He opined that with innovative and technology driven-waste management system, cities and the world can resolve not only the challenges but also create employment, promote economic growth, improve health and ecosystems which in turn contributes to happier, greener and healthier cities.

While stressing that the strategic position of Lagos State in Nigeria as the economic and industrial hub has its attendant consequences, particularly on waste management and traffic management, the Governor restated the determination and commitment of the present administration to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment in the State.

He disclosed further that the State Government has re-energised the solid waste management sector through the promotion of the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle as the major thrust of waste management in the State.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Tpl. Idris Salako stated that effective and efficient management of all categories of waste is paramount to the Lagos State Government.

He disclosed that the philosophy in the State, is “No Waste” as even discarded waste can now be explored innovatively with technology from which wealth and energy could be accessed.

In his presentation, the Lead Speaker, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, observed the need for research and more investment to encourage the invention of durable and green-driven frontier technologies.

“Given the growing global concern for the creation of decent, stable, hygienic and affordable livelihood, it is imperative that Government institutions, the private sector, ivory towers, research citadels as well as regional development partners must research and invest more to encourage the invention of durable and green-driven frontier technologies that can be utilized as innovative tools capable of continually transforming waste to wealth,” he stated.

In his remark, the National Programme Officer, UN-HABITAT, Paul Okunlola recalled that the United Nations designated the First Monday of October of every year as the World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our towns and cities as well as the basic right of all, to adequate shelter.

Okunlola maintained that the Day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.

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