A law that will compel residents of Akwa Ibom to pay certain amount of money for waste evacuation and management is being considered by the state Ministry of Environment and Mineral resources.
The commissioner in charge of the Ministry, Dr. Iniobong Essien dropped the hint while interacting with newsmen in his office recently.
According to him, it cost government a lot of resources in the management of waste in the state capital alone.
The commissioner hinted that a pilot scheme for the evacuation of waste in some housing estates in the state capital such as Ewet, Osongama, AkwaIma and Shelter Afrique had not been very successful because the response from the people.
“A number of people have not been paying and that has impacted negatively on sustenance of that process.
For every policy there is need to stop and appraise in order to fine tune it and one thing we have discovered is that we need a legal backing so that we can prosecute those who refuse to pay and once we get to that point; wherever you dump your waste you will still have to pay.
“Once we get the House of Assembly to pass the law in that regards, then it will become compulsory for everyone to pay for waste evacuation whether in the village or urban centres, once we get that legal backing we are good to go”
He however pointed out that the cost will certainly not be much but those operating hotels; supermarkets and other commercial areas will pay higher than others. “The time has come for our people to brave up and know that they have to pay for waste evacuation but most importantly is the ultimate management of the waste itself especially converting it to wealth”
On the increasing number of erosion sites in the state, the commissioner said it is impossible to intervene in all the erosion sites in the state because of the cost component but that the government of Mr. Udom Emmanuel has intervened in many areas.
“We are taking them one by one that is why we have also gone to World Bank for help and we are considering them based on level of impact and seriousness of some of the gully sites, we are not choosing sites based on personal considerations” he maintained.
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