17th March, 2011
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, says the government needs N76 billion to tackle the problem of wastewater in the Lagos metropolis.
He spoke at the first State Waste Water Investment Forum held at the Eko Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos . According to him, government would need to collaborate with the private sector to realise the objectives.
Fashola stated that the amount would be needed to recycle the 1.4 million gallons of waste water being generated by Lagosians on daily basis.
He said 10 treatment plants would be needed over the next five years to recycle wastewater and convert it to useful product, adding that now was the time the private sector needed to invest in the wastewater economy.
The governor explained that through the promotion of partnerships with the private sector, investors could invest their money which might have been idle elsewhere in the wastewater projects, provide jobs for the unemployed, while encouraging keen competition and research.
He said that the state could not fund this project alone and would be partnering with the private sector under the Private-Public Partnership (PPP) initiative to achieve this.
According to him, the existing waste water infrastructuree capacity deficit of over 94 percent presented veritable opportunity for discerning investors to immediately benefit from the huge population, cosmopolitan lifestyle and the high level of economic power of the people.
â€œThe state will, through the first five years, embark ob aggressive infrastructure policy to provide 10 new mega waste water treatment plants and rehabilitate three existing ones in conjunction with our development partners.
â€œThese will be in addition to the four recently rehabilitated plants at Oke â€“Afa, Abesan, Iponri and Alausa which will cut across 32 local government and local council development areas and serve almost six million inhabitants of the state,â€ he stated.
Fashola added that through infrastructure development, the capacity of waste water treated would increase to 35 percent from its present four percent, stressing that its successful implementation would signify a healthier environment, a wealthier and productive population and ultimately, a prosperous people.
He said from long term concessionairing to short term operations and management contracts, supply and management contracts, turnkey projects, concessions and even private ownership of assets, the waste water sector in Lagos State is an investorâ€™s haven.
Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Muiz Banire said that the forum was to acquaint everyone with the enormous opportunities that abound in the wastewater sector in the state.
â€œI am convinced that the opportunities in the wastewater sector if properly harnessed will greatly enhance safe environment and also boost the economy of the state. This forum is therefore a platform to open a vista of new economy that is capable of generating jobs for our youths and wealth with unimaginable multiplier effect in the state and the nation at large.
â€œThese opportunities range from the construction of wastewater treatment plants, sewer infrastructure, waste water by-product, recovery and reuse , biogas and fertilizer to fleeting of evacuation trucks, pre and post treatment, biological treatment, laboratory and consultancy services,â€ he said.