CHUKS OYEMA-AZIKEN writes that the legislative and executive arms of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, are collaborating to check the indiscriminate dumping of refuse that has bedeviled the area.
Recently, there has been a great outcry by residents of some areas of Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, over the indiscriminate dumping of refuse along major roads.
To deal with the issue AMAC Executive Chairman, Abdullahi Candido recently inaugurated the Environmental Marshalls, where he charged them to be dedicated to their duty, mobilise people and ma¬terials for the monthly sanita¬tion exercise in all locations within AMAC.
Candido also charged them to bring forth useful suggestions on waste management, moni¬tor dumps on roads, gutters and waterways as environmen¬tal sanitation has become a ma¬jor health concern in commu-nities and even the city.
The effort of the council chairman got a boost recently with the passage into law of the AMAC Environmental Enforcement Cadets Bye-Law 2017 and AMAC Street parking Bye-Law 2017.
The Environmental Enforcement Cadets Bye-Law stipulates that the scheme when fully operational will help to among others mobilize people to part take in sanitation exercises; Educate the populace on sanitation matters; Assist the Department of Environment Services and law enforcement agencies in monitoring matters affecting environmental sanitation in various wards; Render assistance and give useful information in respect of waste collection and disposal matters; Imbibe the culture of good sanitary condition in villages; Give prompt information on dead bodies and other forms of waste on roads and Report defaulters to appropriate authority.
The Street Parking Bye-Law intends to check indiscriminate parking, control and regulate parking in the municipality.
The Environmental Cadets is a voluntary Social Service, with the Council Chairman as Grand Patron of the Scheme.
Speaker of AMAC legislative House, Honourable Daniel Shanyibwa Michael at the sitting where the two laws originating from the executive, got the blessing of the councilors, promised support for the developmental strides of the Executive Chairman.
The councilors present at the sitting gave a unanimous assent to both laws, an indication of the determination to check the ugly menace of refuse dumping along the streets and regulate parking.
According to the Speaker, "the 224 communities in AMAC cannot just be left to be littered with waste. We have to act now. This also is to curtail outbreak of diseases associated with indiscriminate dumping of refuse"
"We want our motor parks, markets, other public places and residential areas to be clean"
"What we are doing today is to support the executive arm to deal with this issue once and for all"
The Speaker added that the parking bye-law will boost the internally generated revenue, IGR of the council as a minimum amount of fifty naira N50 will be regular parking charges. It also stipulates penalties for offences and violators of the law.
It is also expected that the Environmental Enforcement Cadets Scheme will provide jobs for the people.
The bill stipulates that five (5) environmental Enforcement Cadets will be recruited from each ward in the Area Council.
On the likely clash of interests with the Federal Capital Territory Authority, FCTA, over the Street Parking Bye-Law, the Speaker said, "we envisage resistance, but we have the constitutional mandate to embark on this. However, this is government and government working for the good of the people”
"Don't forget this will check people who will come into the area to perpetrate evil. The parking law will ensure stricter monitoring and identification of people parking cars and vehicles"
Deputy Speaker, AMAC Legislative Council, Honourable Haruna Musa Saidu opined that the new laws are expected to beautiful the area, “don’t forget this is the seat of power of the country. We cannot close our eyes to the degradation of our environment”
Commending the councilors for the speedy passage of the bye-law's, the Council Liaison Officer, Hon. Stephen Osadebey said the doors of the Executive Chairman remain open, to foster a good working relationship among the two tiers of government.
He pleaded for their continued support to ensure residents of AMAC witness the dividends of democracy.