The Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) has concluded plans to increase the areas of coverage for private cleaning contractors from 27 to 48 districts.
The Director of the Board, Baba Shehu Lawan made this disclosure in an interview with Housing TV in Abuja.
According to him “keeping the city clean is a very expensive business. On monthly basis, we spend a lot of money on the 27 cleaning contractors’ apportioned parts of the Federal Capital Territory. They go into the street road, inner roads, the highway are always maintained.”
The Director said procurement is currently ongoing and the new contract will run for 3 years.
He called on the residents to reciprocate the huge money the AEPB spends on keeping the city clean by paying their waste management service bill promptly to enable the Board keep paying as the contracts are very expensive.
Mr. Lawan stated that Phase 1, 11 and parts of Phase 111 of the city is reticulated and every waste disposed is channeled to the central system for further processing. He noted that the goal of the Board is to ensure the FCT remains the cleanest city in Nigeria and Africa.
He called on residents of the city to further collaborate with the AEPB and not patronize hawkers who dispose wastes.
He added that the residents should also desist from throwing wastes out of their cars while on the road and should learn to dispose such wastes at their destinations.
On the recent recruitment of 300 personnel into the enforcement team, he said they were recruited to beef up the squad as the 400 initially recruited in 2012 can no longer cope with the exponential growth the city is witnessing.
He added that the enforcement team will be supported by men of the Nigeria Police Force and the National Civil Defence Corps.
On the encroachment of cows into the city centre, he said the Board has held several meetings with the leadership of the cattle rearers association on the need to comply with the existing directive to keep their cattle’s in the area councils.
Mr Lawan said the Board has arrested offenders several times in a bid to stop them from leading the cows to the city centre as it constitutes a nuisance.
He added that “we are collaborating with the cattle rearers association to make sure they restrict herding within the city. They constitute nuisance in terms of defecating of the animals on the walkways.”
The Director said the general sanitation exercise on Saturdays is a continuous exercise lead by the task force team and men of the AEPB in line with the directive of the Federal Capital Administration to ensure total sanity within the city.
He blamed the uncleanliness in most public places on the activities of migrants who do not have a place to sleep and therefore hang around in such places and end up messing the place up.
He said “we are going out to remove and clean shanties, all illegal activities in terms of people who are coming into the city on daily basis. It’s been difficult to clean up activities of people, low income earners who are looking for what to do and they hang in gardens and uncompleted buildings, they constitute nuisance to the community or residents of the neighbourhood.”