INTERVIEW: We’ll Clean Up Delta And Turn Waste To Wealth Through Foreign Investments –Emmanuel Bazim Chinye

-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Albert OGRAKA:

The Delta State Waste Management Board was inaugurated on September 24, 2019 with Hon. Emmanuel Bazim Chinye as Executive Chairman; while Mr Jude Onya, Mr  Mofe Edema and Mr Daniel Ighedo are members.

No doubt, the Board has made remarkable breakthroughs in its duties since the inauguration by the Governor of Delta State, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

In this succinct Interview, HON. EMMANUEL BAZIM CHINYE, bares his mind with great enthusiasm and passion for his job, to turning waste to wealth, ensuring clean, decent and healthy environment for residents across the state as well as monitoring the effectiveness of the Private Sector Participants (PSP).

Editor-In-Chief of Blank NEWS Online, Albert OGRAKA, had a chat with this young, brilliant and bold bred, a former member of the Delta State Executive Council who hails from Onicha-Olona in Aniocha North Local Government Area. He is an icon of sort. Well spoken with a strong zeal to service delivery.

Enjoy Reading:

We’ve heard and seen a lot about your activities. How have you been handling this task and what are your challenges?

It has been a huge task. This Board was inaugurated on September 24, 2019. The Board decided to take the bull by the horn and swung into action immediately after our inauguration. We, first of all concentrated more in Asaba being the state capital and focus of any visitor to Delta.
By the grace of God we know we have done pretty well in Asaba and now we are moving to other zones because our assignment is to cover the six major cities in Delta State, namely Asaba, Ughelli, Warri, Sapele, Uvwie and Agbor which we have gone into and working as well in these areas to duplicate what we have done in Asaba in the other cities.

How do you operate with the field officers in the various zones?

Yes! Three weeks ago, we were in Warri and environs for a week and we had to do verification because the major thing is collecting the refuse from the major customers to the dump site. We have gone there to do verification of the PSPs to make sure that they have good vehicles, because most of their vehicles are very bad and we have been able to put most of them in order, discussed with them and tried to encourage them through sensitization because it is only when the people pay that they would be able to maintain their vehicles. Also if the people refuse to pay, you will see that they will be having difficulty in maintaining their vehicles and refuse will litter the whole streets of Delta State.
What we have done is, first to do sensitization, talk to the people, encourage them on why they must be registered with the operators and tell them the penalty if they are not registered and so far so good 75 percent of residents in Asaba have registered with PSP, unlike what we met on ground, where less than 20 percent were registered before now. So we are taking the same measure in those other cities.
We are looking at before the of this year 2020 other cities must have also carried this culture of keeping their environment clean,, then we will now move into other local government areas because the Board covers the whole state and not just some pàrt of the state.

Would you say the PSPs are complying with the rules of engagement?

The Private Sector Participants (PSP) operators before now, virtually all of them had no vehicles and were not very effective but today, I will tell you that majority of them have two vehicles because people have started registering with them and started paying, so they have money to maintain their vehicles and even buy alternative ones. But the truth is that if you are registered with PSP, you won’t have reasons to go and throw your waste outside because you are paying for their services. So how will you now take pain again to go and pay an “Aboki” truck pusher or to put waste in your vehicle to go and throw on the streets when you know that you have the services of the PSP. They will come to your house and carry these things.
Before now that has been the problem but now that virtually everyone here in Asaba have been registered with PSP, you see that we have less refuse. If you move round Asaba before now in the early morning, when you go through the median, you will see refuse everywhere but now you just see some chunk of it.
And we have been able to get PSPs that are maintaining the major roads for us, like from the Airport to the Onitsha Head Bridge, we have PSP that run it to and fro on daily basis, so any waste along the road, he picks it, put inside the truck and take it away. And we also have on the roads within Asaba.

What about the dump sites? Do you have enough?

Yes. For now we have an existing four Government approved dump sites in Delta State. We have one at Ibusa, serving the capital territory, we have one in Ughelli that we have cultivated. When we came on board, there was none in Ughelli. We were using a private dump site but government has one that has not been cultivated. One thing is to buy the dump site, secondly is to cultivate it and make it habitable to receive dump, which we have done. We have even gone as far as fencing it and they are using it now.
We have also played palliative measure in . Agbarho site. Warri and Uvwie use Agbarho dump site. So we have done the route. It’s accessible now and we are using it. Agbor has an existing dump site. What we normally do is push it to make sure it’s ready to receive dumps. Sapele is the only place we have an issue because we have not been able to secure a government approved dump site. We are seriously working on that. We are using a private dump site presently and we hope that the next couple of weeks, we will be able to get a government approved dump site.

What about the waste recycling plant? Is it the Waste Management Board that is in charge?

The recycling plant is run by the Ministry of Environment but it’s not functioning as such. We are also trying to reach out to some foreign firms sooner than later to come and invest in it because there is huge money in this business. Most of these waste that we take to dump site and just push it and leave it there, we can also convert them to money. We are also talking to some foreign firms to see how we can turn these waste to wealth.

How do you collaborate with other agencies of government to achieve desirable results?

So far so good, I will tell you that we have a good working relationship. Like in Asaba, we work with the Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency, we work with the local government council and with the Ministry of Environment. We have a Joint Task Force. We started with the Joint Task Force in October and came together as a team for sometime before we went on with our separate duties. We did the same thing with the Warri/Uvwie and Environs Special Area Development Agency, the Ministry of Environment and the councils respectively.

How does the Delta State Waste Management Board generate revenue for government?

The PSPs are in charge of revenue generation. Ours is to regulate them. The revenues they generate from you is for them. We don’t have a dime from this. Our duties as Board is to enforce it for them to make sure that people pay to them, so that they can be able to service all that they need to service. We generate revenue from major companies and not from individuals.
We generate revenue from management services, major companies and not from households. PSPs go to households.

How do you regulate the activities of the various PSP operators?

We have our own Monitoring team as supervisors that move around. If they see waste in a particular street and they get complain from residents that the PSP operators are not coming. The Supervisor will call the PSP, and tackle the problems.
Most times you will evacuate and in the night some people who are not registered will go and dump waste there and that is the problem we want to tackle. If we are able to get everybody registered, you will see that the rate of waste on the way, on the medians and roads will stop. So that is what we are doing and also thank God that His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has also established the state task force on environment. With that on board we will be able to monitor the activities.

How do you handle complaints about ineffective PSP from registered residents/customers?

We can change the PSP. If we get reports about a particular PSP once, thrice and severally, we will investigate it and know if the report is true because some will complain and when you ask them for the receipts for the payment, they will begin to give excuses. If you are not paying, how do you want them to service you?
But sometimes too, the PSP, because of the nature of their vehicles, they will not come and pick, so in that case, we will give you a warning, and after which we will remove you and send another PSP to that area.

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E.I.C: Albert Eruorhe OGRAKA

News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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