PSP operators file suit against LASG


ALL the Private Sector Participants (PSP), involved in the business of packing domestic and commercial wastes in Lagos State have filed a suit before the Lagos High Court, asking for an order of court to stop the Lagos State government from displacing or replacing them with new operators.The waste operators in a suit filed on their behalf by renowned Lagos lawyer and human rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Esq., are asking the court to urgently uphold and protect their existing rights and benefits so that the government will not appoint new operators to replace them.

Those listed as co-defendants in the suit filed by the operators aside the Lagos State government are the Attorney-General of Lagos State, Commissioner for Environment, the proposed foreign operators and their local agents; Visionscape Group, Visionscape Santiation Solutions Limited and ABC Sanitation Solutions Limited.

In addition, the PSP waste operators are seeking an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain the Lagos State government and its officers from terminating, cancelling, annulling, jeopardising, discriminating against or in any order manner determining the operations of the claimants as domestic solid waste collectors in Lagos State, whilst they also asked the court to restrain the foreign operators and their local agents from taking over the collection, disposal and management of domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State.

In the suit which is supported by a 77 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Mr Olabode Coker, the Chairman of the Association of Waste Managers, comprising over 350 operators, it was stated that the operators had helped Lagos State to rid the state of refuse, spanning several years of investments human and material resources, which has also involved professional trainings and education.

The operators claimed that Lagos State had encouraged them in the past to improve their operations through acquisition of modern trucks, for which many of them obtained loans from banks with huge interest rates and the consideration was to be using the resources generated from the waste operations to service the said loans, they have built offices in various parts of Lagos State for the smooth administration of their operations.

They also claimed to have been operating at a loss because of the refusal of Lagos State government to enact a legislation that will facilitate the enforcement of collection of dues, alleging that the location and dilapidated state of the dumpsites makes the operations of waste disposal burdensome as trucks have to waits hours in order to discharge waste, leading to congestion and the bad road leading to the dumpsites have caused their trucks to break down very often, with huge cost of maintenance.

The relief being sought by the waste operators include a declaration that the claimants as Private Sector Participants-waste operators, stakeholders and investors in waste collection, transportation and disposal management in Lagos State, are entitled to collect, transport and dispose of domestic solid waste in Lagos State.

They are also asking for a declaration that they are entitled to remain and function as waste operators entitled to collect, transport and dispose of domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State and a declaration that the decision of the defendants to transfer, remove, eject, or in any other manner disturb or hinder the claimants from collecting, transporting and disposing of domestic solid waste in Lagos State is inequitable, arbitrary and inconsistent with the rights and obligations of the claimants.

They further asked for a declaration that the decision of the defendants to transfer, remove, eject or in any other manner disturb or hinder the claimants from collecting, recouping and or managing directly the proceeds of domestic solid waste services rendered by the claimants is inequitable, arbitrary and inconsistent with the rights and obligations of the claimants and a declaration that the decision of the defendants to license one or two waste collector(s) solely as the operator(s) to collect and dispose domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State is arbitrary and inconsistent with the rights and obligations of the claimants.

Further, they asked for a declaration that the defendants are not entitled to license, authorise or permit any organisation as the sole operator to collect domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State, an injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, officers or privies from authorizing any organisation as the sole operators to collect domestic solid waste in all areas of Lagos State to the exclusion and detriment of the claimants and for an injunction restraining the defendants from transferring the collection of proceeds of domestic waste services, rendered by the claimants, being currently collected, recouped and/or managed directly by the claimants.

No hearing date has been fixed for the suit.

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