Officials of the Lagos Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) attached to Abaranje road, Custom bus stop, in Ikotun, locked homes of residents in the area for non-payment of their waste collection rates for almost 24 hours.
Decrying the action of the LAWMA officials, a landlord, who spoke on behalf of other affected houses queried the rationale behind the collection of the rates since the waste collectors do not collect refuse regularly.
The landlord said: “Nobody in this area is opposed to collection of rates by the government, but there should be justification for this. They don’t come regularly even when they are expected twice weekly.
“This year alone, my house has paid N18,000, yet they brought another N36,000 bill without reflecting the previous payment. It is not the money that matters, but accountability and satisfaction for services rendered.
“I don’t think this is how the government said they should carry out their duties. Something is wrong somewhere and this is overzealousness on the part of the officials. They are giving the government a bad image. That we live in Ikotun does not make us here inferior, because I don’t think they can just lock out residents of Ikoyi, Banana Island or Magodo for non-payment of rates,” he queried.
Another affected resident, Victor Obi, said: “There is need for government to curtail this inhumane treatment. Why would anybody lock out residents for any reason? We have not committed any crime and as such we don’t deserve this.”
The residents however called on the Commissioner of Enviroment, Babatunde Adejare, to check activities of LAWMA in the area and make them operate in a civil manner, lamenting that many of the affected residents were fined between N2,000 and N5,000 by the officials before their premises were unlocked.