Gov. Alex Otti of Abia State has provided insights on why his administration decided to engage the private sector in waste management.
The Governor who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant on Due Process, Dr Oluebube Chukwu, explained that the approach was aimed at establishing a highly efficient waste management system for Abia.
It was reported that Otti, had during his inaugural speech on May 29, declared state of emergency on waste which hitherto, had literally taken over some roads in parts of the state especially in Aba and Umuahia.
However, there has been significant improvement on waste management since then as most of the heaps of refuse dumps that defaced the streets have disappeared although more improvement is required in this direction.
Fielding questions from newsmen in Umuahia, the Governor’s Aide explained that integrating the private sector into building a sustainable waste management system was driven by the vision of creating “a cleaner and healthier Abia”.
He outlined a phased approach to engage private sector participants, saying that the first phase has been successfully completed as bidders have emerged.
According to him, the winning bidders for waste management contracts in the state have been categorized into three groups: preferred, reserved, and second reserved bidders.
He explained that the preferred bidders, who emerged as the winners, were currently being notified and their engagement letters were undergoing review.
The Governor’s Aide hinted that the existing emergency taskforce on waste management would soon be relieved of its duties to facilitate the transition to Private Sector Participants, which would further drive the state’s rebuilding agenda.
“The preferred bidders, that is the winners, are currently receiving notifications to a meeting and their letters for engagement are under review, which will be served on each of the six preferred bidders.
“In this new week, they will be getting those invitation to a meeting; where the offer letter will be shared and the service benchmark will be discussed with them.
“At the meeting negotiations will be concluded so that they can commence work immediately.
He said that Otti’s administration was committed towards transforming the environment sanitation of Abia State.
He said that the new strategy devised by the Governor was aimed at making Abia the cleanest state in the country, a status it will soon assume.
He further identified that other gains of Private Sector Participation in waste management include improving public waste areas, creating job opportunities, boosting the state’s economy, and improvement in the cleanliness of the state.