Oyo Waste Management Contract: WestAfricaENRG Reacts, Denies Breach Of Contract - Mega Icon Magazine
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Oyo Waste Management Contract: WestAfricaENRG Reacts, Denies Breach Of Contract

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WestAfricaENRG has denied any material breach of its waste management contract with the Oyo State Government stating that the termination of its contract not only came as a rude shock but represents a breach of the procedure for the contract’s termination.

 

In a statement released to the press at the weekend by Mr Paul O’Callaghan – CEO WestAfricaENRG, the company is constrained to defend its integrity by responding to the announcement of the state Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Kehinde Ayoola terminating the contract with Oyo State Government due to material breach.

 

According to O’Callaghan, “We categorically deny any material breach of our contract and this is the first we have heard of any such matter. WestAfricaENRG is an international company working in waste management and recycling in countries throughout the ECOWAS region including many States across Nigeria, of all political persuasions”.

 

The WestAfricaENRG boss further stated that WestAfricaENRG which is among the largest private investors in the waste management sector across Nigeria and a major job creator in Oyo State. He stressed further that the company was correctly subjected to the contracts review committee during which no fault was found. Subsequently, the company was invited to several meetings of the ad-hoc committee on waste management to give situation reports, perspectives and solutions to the menace of refuse collection and waste management in the state.

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Paul O’Callaghan revealed that the report of the ad-hoc committee presented and accepted by Governor Seyi Makinde, on October 16th 2019, stated categorically that WestAfricaENRG had performed creditably well, found government to have failed in its enforcement efforts in all local governments of waste and street trading amongst other matters and advised government against the politicisation of waste management, citing it as a key factor in the menace of solid waste in Ibadan specifically.

 

He said “In fact, the only mention of WestAfricaENRG in the report stated that we have made tremendous achievements in regards to cleaning the city from the immediate post-election challenges. We are therefore at a loss at to when our company did not live up to expectations. Any PPP contract is a partnership and in this case, it is the Government of Oyo State which is in significant material breach of the contract, through the inaction of the Ministry of Environment. This move can only be described as political and one which we believe will not serve the people of Oyo State well.

 

The WestAfricaENRG CEO advised the Oyo State Government to review its action as the company will be left with no choice but to execute the options before it in the contract in the case of unlawful disengagement and expressed hope that all parties will remain professional and not air any dispute through social media.

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Oyo govt. moves to prevent crimes, introduce identification cards for commercial cyclists

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The Seyi Makinde led Oyo state government on Thursday  expressed its readiness to introduce an identification system for commercial motorcyclists operating within the state in order to check crimes and the influx of bad elements into the state.

The governor also ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy to be paid by commercial cyclists from N200 to N100 per day.

The State’s Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof Raphael Afonja, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen in Ibadan added that Governor Makinde does not want to add to the burden of the people of the state.

The Commissioner stated that in order to control crimes being associated with motorcyclists and the influx of commercial motorcyclists into Oyo State, the government will, in due course, issue Riders’ Card to all registered commercial motorcyclists in the state.

He noted that this will enable the government to differentiate registered commercial motorcyclists from criminal elements, who are using motorcycles to operate.

“We have concluded that, due to what happened in Lagos State, which has led to an influx of people moving from Lagos into Oyo State, there is a need to have Okada Riders’ Card to identify people coming into the state.

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“So, in collaboration with the revenue collector for the state and FRSC and the unions, we will start this to gather information on those who are engaging in commercial or private cycling businesses in the state. This is possible through profiling. The security agencies are in need of these pieces of information”, he said.

Afonja explained that the Riders’ Cards would afford the government the opportunity to have a database of the riders across the state, saying: “So, this registration of motorcyclists through the Riders’ Cards will be a database for us to know who is who; who owns what; who they are, where they live and the rest. We will also add their BVN to know who they really are.

“Recently, you may have heard about snatching of bikes and robberies using motorcycles. That is why we are trying to make sure that all motorcycles in Oyo State are properly registered. We will ensure they do what is needful to make sure they obey the law.

The commissioner added that Governor Makinde ordered the immediate reduction of the daily levy charge on commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists in the state from N200 to N100 to ameliorate the suffering of the riders.

He said: “This press conference is being held in response to the recent pronouncement by the Ministry of Finance and the Oyo State Board of Internal Revenue regarding the state revenue that we have been collecting from tricycles and motorcycle riders in the state.

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“From the information that was passed down to us by the Ministry of Finance and BIR, we were told that it was agreed upon that the consultant was to collect 200 Naira as a daily collection from these commercial bikers including tricycles and motorcycles.

“Upon escalating this issue to the governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, we found out he was not in support of this increase in the revenue collection from N100 to N200. So, I want to apologise to the unions and other stakeholders who are affected by the increment.

“The governor has instructed me to pass this information on that his goal is to ensure that people’s money remain in their pockets to take care of their families. So, he has gracefully reduced this fee from N200 to N100.

“He also believes that this change will trickle down to the people who are in the markets and will help people and their families.

“In addition to that, we have met with those in the quarries to include the union people. They are excited, understanding that the fact that the governor has listening ears. The governor met with them physically. He understands their cry and he has assured them of his support.”

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Professor Afonja added that the revenue collectors would be at every park from tomorrow morning [Friday], urging the commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists to cooperate with them.

“Moving forward, commercial motorcyclists and tricyclists will be paying 100 Naira to a revenue consultant daily and this will commence tomorrow morning (Friday)”

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Restore Democratically Elected NURTW, Not ‘Park Thugs’, Oyo SPN Tells Makinde

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Oyo State Chapter of the  Socialist Party of Nigeria, SPN,  on Thursday urged the Seyi Makinde led government to restore the state’s  NURTW and its democratization under the control of elected representatives of registered commercial drivers, operators of motorcycles and tricycles not ‘park thugs’.

SPN condemned the decision of Governor Makinde  to impose and force on mass of poor but struggling commercial drivers and operators of motorcycles and tricycles in the state a newly established park management system, PMS and appointed park managers for the control and management of parks, and quarries across the state.

In a press release signed by its Secretary, Ayodeji Adigun, the party described the governor’s   decision as unlawful, stressing that it contravenes section 7(5) of the Fourth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

SPN scribe said, “According to this section, the control of the parks, markets, and abattoirs is stipulated to be the constitutional responsibility of the Local Government Council and not of the state government. It is only expected of the state government through the state house of assembly to enact a law that will enable the local government to effectively perform and carry out the stipulated function”.

In a related development,  the party faulted  the appointment of Alhaji Mukaila Lamidi as the chairman of the disciplinary committee of the PMS and some others describing them as ‘ known park thugs with proven records of criminal and violent activities’ . It added that their appointments as park managers clearly show that, the PMS in itself is a dubious agenda to return through the back door, the control and management of the motor parks, to the section of the park thugs that are loyal to the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government.

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The statement  reads, ” Under this kind of arrangement one does not need to be a soothsayer to know that the exploitation, harassment including intimidation often suffered by mass of poor commercial drivers and operators of motorcycles and tricycles under the banned park thugs controlled NURTW will not only continue but deepen in multiple folds especially now that the PMS arrangement has provided an official and legitimate basis for the exploitation and extortion of poor road transport workers.

“SPN frown against the continuous proscription of NURTW. It is illegal and undemocratic.  We therefore demand the return of the NURTW that is democratically controlled by transport workers (registered commercial drivers and operators of bicycle and tricycle across the state) with guaranteed right to freedom of association and election of leadership devoid of imposition, force, violence and thuggery.

“While we recognize that the operation of the banned NURTW under the control and management of the park thugs is condemnable in all ramification, we do not believe that dastardly and criminal acts of a few known park thugs should be a strong reason to continue to deny other willing law abiding commercial drivers and operators of tricycles and motorcycles their fundamental right to association and peace assembly for an adequate defense and protection of both their economic and political rights.

“NURTW like other trade union organizations like NUT, NULGE is a registered union by the law and intended to be a union for interested road transport workers for the defense and protection of their interest.  As it is obtainable in other trade unions, members are meant to pay dues and democratically direct the affairs of the union through popular participation such as meetings, congresses etc. Proceeds realized from such dues are meant to be subjected to democratic and open administration of members through the co-ordination of their elected representatives strictly for the purpose of achieving the goal of the union.

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“Neither is the proceeds realized from the dues paid by road workers meant for the advancement of the self-serving interest of the few individuals as we used to have it under the proscribed thugs controlled NURTW nor a means of generating revenues for the government as being proposed by Engr seyi Makinde-led government that will be largely stolen by the privileged few.

“SPN rejects the argument by the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government that the range of levies planned to be imposed on poor commercial drivers and operators of motorcycle and tricycles are meant to boast the IGR of the state. If the transport operators are to be charged levies, such policy will have to be discussed with local government authorities and the transport operators with the aim of arriving at a levy/tax that is progressive and affordable, and such revenue generated are to be democratically transparently managed by government and transport operators for the purpose of developing the state and not to enrich the privileged few. We also demand that all big business owners and billionaires in the state many of who are currently enjoying tax holiday must be progressively taxed in order to raise some fund to finance public utilities.

“The SPN therefore charges the Engr Seyi Makinde-led government that if truly it is interested to curb the usual violent activities that often associated with NUTRW, the solution is neither by the proscription of the union nor the establishment of unlawful management system but to severe its relationship with park thugs with known criminal and violent records in the state with a view to arrest them and prosecute them in accordance with the law”, its continued.

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Adigun, however  called on the state leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to initiate discussion with the state government with a motive to request all necessary logistics including provision of security that will be needed to convene a congress of all legitimate road workers in the state to democratically elect a new leadership for the union as a step to begin to reconstitute the union in the state.

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Oyo govt working towards Independent Power Supply – Energy Commissioner

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Oyo State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Barrister Temilolu ‘ Seun Ashamu, has declared that state has already begun efforts towards achieving independent power supply in the next few years.

He maintained that the options of building an independent power station were already being explored by the state.

Ashamu sought for the support of the leaderships of both the federal and state’s energy generation and power supply agencies for the government to improve the distribution of electricity across the length and breadth of the state.

Ashamu, while speaking on a radio programme, said that the government would take advantage of its potentials such as dams and landscape to power unserved areas in the state to increase the hours of electricity supply in the state.

He said: “The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is saddled with the responsibility of coordinating independent power in Oyo State to establish independent electric grid.

“We are working on creating a conducive environment for effective teaching and learning in schools. Also, there should be steady power supply in our hospitals and primary health centres.

“Last year, I sought permission from the governor to meet with the Transmission Company of Nigerian in Abuja. We met with them on how to improve the electricity distribution in the state.”

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The commissioner expressed the readiness of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration to further improve on the well-being of citizens through the actualization of the independent power supply project initiative.

He added: “On the economic side of things, we know that if we want foreign investors in our state, we must assure them of constant power supply.”

He added that efforts were ongoing to identify potentials and resources in each zone of the state and locations in order to determine appropriate means of generating power for residents of each zone, saying: “We are currently on a survey to identify the quality and quantity of mineral resources we have in our state. This would attract private investors to the state for the development of the sector.”

He reiterated that the ministry would make use of natural energy solutions such as solar, wastes, water, farmland and air, among others, to address the issue of irregular power supply in earnest.

“As regards natural resources, we must first gather sufficient data before taking any step. This is what Minerals Development Agency is currently doing. They are surveying the entire state to know how many natural resources we have, their location, sufficiency and quality. It is this data that can be used to attract foreign investments.”

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Barr. Ashamu, who admonished residents of the state to be patient and cooperate with the state government in its quest to bring the independent power supply project into reality, said: “What we are looking at is to have programmes for our rural communities, which will be different from the urban areas. Of course, it is with this that we would be talking about generating independent power for all. We would use natural energy solutions such as; solar, waste, water and wind to generate electricity.

“We need the cooperation of the residents of the state. We also want our people to be patient with us. For instance, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has just been established, therefore, we started with establishing a management and staffing framework that we would be working with.

“Also, there are some strategies that would be adopted to reduce wastage in the use of electricity in residential and commercial buildings.”

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