Government of Ekiti State, Nigeria.

Fayemi Delivering On Vision Of Clean Ekiti – Hon. Adebayo Morakinyo

June 13, 2013

The Chairman of Ekiti State Waste Management Authority, Hon. Adebayo Morakinyo comes across as a hands-on administrator with a mission to keep the state clean. In this interview with ABIODUN NEJO, he outlines the responsibilities and how he is going to tackle his assignment.

Handling confrontations

Ekiti people generally appreciate clean environment. I want to say that the business of sanitation is a civil one. Though there are laws to be enforced and penalties for those who violate the law, we put human face into what we do. We know we need the goodwill of the public to be able to do efficient job. In spite of the differences in our political affiliations, we do not have causes to face confrontations from either party members or opposition in the course of the job.


The statute that created the agency gives it the powers to manage solid waste. For now, the agency manages all our highways in Ado Ekiti and Ikere Ekiti and other public places. We have sweepers who are engaged in sweeping the highways, keep them clean and we have those that pick the communal bins distributed in strategic places in the cities of Ado and Ikere. And on February last year, we introduced what we call House-to-House collection of waste, which is being handled on private sector participation basis.

Hard task ridding Ado Ekiti of filth

The job of waste management is not just a one off thing. Waste management is a daily activity. People generate waste daily and they drop it every day. So, you cannot expect that the job of keeping the state clean is what you do once and go to relax. I want to say that those who make such allegations are just distorting facts. If you are a resident in the state, you just discover that in the last one year, there has been a noticeable improvement in our environment. When you pass the newly constructed roads within the hours of six and seven in the morning, you may discover some heaps of refuse, but by the time you go there at about 9, 10, 11am, almost everywhere in the metropolis is clean. We know we still have some challenges which include inadequate communal bins and no enough trucks, but we are working on that. About two weeks ago, government gave approval for the purchase of 6000 wheeling bins to be sold at a heavily discounted rate to people in Ado and Ikere.

Tackling environmental law violators

Dumping of refuse in unstipulated places is a clear violation of the sanitation laws. If you are caught as a first time offender, you will be asked to pay the fine, but if you repeat the act again, you will be taken to court. We have a mobile Magistrate’s Court that sits every Tuesday and Thursday. We arrest anyone who drops waste in any available place, undeveloped areas, drains, canals and waterways.

Plan to extend coverage scope

There was a policy on waste management in 2011. The idea of the policy is that we do not want just Ado and Ikere clean. What the Ministry is talking about is a state where everywhere is clean and aesthetically appealing to all. The eight-point agenda of the Dr Kayode Fayemi administration stresses tourism. A clean and attractive environment is a key issue in tourism. We are taking the message to our local governments. Ise/Orun, Ekiti East, Ikole, Ido Osi and Oye local government have complied with the state government’s regulation in the area of provision of communal bins for their respective councils. In the week, we had a stakeholders’ meeting with traditional rulers where we harped on the need for all of us to get involved in keeping the environment clean.

The journey so far

I think Governor Kayode Fayemi considered me for the job because of my passion for a very clean, neat and beautiful environment. When I was in the House of Assembly, anytime I drove round and saw heap of garbage, I always felt concerned. I would call the then Governor Segun Oni that his people were not working and that everywhere was dirty. When the environment is filthy and there is stench everywhere, the conclusion is that there is no governance there. Initially, we were bombarded with comments on the need to improve on our service delivery. I was challenged to do more. Thank God, I had people who are equally committed to the vision of a clean and beautiful Ekiti State on the Board. So, we stepped up some of our activities.

Specific achievements

Since we got on board, we have been ensuring regular collection of waste in market places and strategic locations in Ado and Ikere Ekiti; quarterly maintenance of three dumpsites at Ilokun, Emirin in Ado Ekiti and Fagbohun in Ikere Ekiti, and purchase of two Dino Trucks and Dino Bins to complement the existing waste management trucks, among others.

Turning waste to wealth

Waste generation will continue to be on the increase as population and prosperity increase. But then, what we call waste remains waste until we are able to put it to use. Last year, the Minister of Environment was in Ekiti State to open a composting plant at Ilokun. We have two of such now. We are doing this in collaboration with National Environmental Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency, NESREA. They gave us about 1,500 units of wheeling bins which we gave free to people in GRA, Federal Housing and some parts of the state Housing. The idea is that we want to introduce segregation of wastes right from our houses. Rather than lump waste together, it is separated right from the houses. We have in Ekiti State now, three of such bins, this is the first of its kind in Nigeria. It is a pilot programme that the Federal Government intends to do in about six states in the six geo-political zones. Ekiti was the first to complete its own and the minister came to declare it open. We gave three bins to each household in the areas and we gave them specific instructions that organic waste or the decomposable waste from homes should be kept in the green marked bins, then the blue is for recyclable wastes, like bottles, plastics, water sachets, while the brown ones are for all other waste such as papers, used shoes etc. We have started what we call waste to wealth. We produce organic manures from the plants at Ilokun and Emirin. We have another project, a pellet plastic products processing plant in Ilokun, a creation of the Federal Government as well, where they produce plastic pellets from plastics and water sachets.

Benefits to Ekiti

They have been creating employment opportunities for our people. What accrues from the sales is revenue to the state government, we sell the organic manures and we give manures to our farmers to boost their productivity under the ADP scheme. Moreover, we will be the ones to supply manure for the ongoing beautification projects in the metropolis.

Revenue drive

Ours is not an agency created to generate revenue. Our business is to keep the state clean and make people comply with the environmental laws of the state in respect to solid waste. But there are some ancillary functions that we perform that will bring revenue. For instance, when we go out for enforcement, offenders are arrested; they are fined, of course, they pay some token to the agency through our bank. With the House-to-House Waste collection that we started last year, the arrangement we had in the state is a very unique one.

Managing waste of corporate bodies

Some of the banks in the state are doing well, but a lot of others are not proving responsible yet. What we did recently that made some of them sit up was the threat to take them to court. This has brought great compliance. Some banks and hotels that owed three or four months had to rush to pay.

Equipping for the task

One thing the administration did that is worth commendation is that in time past, waste management in Ado and Ikere was given to contractors to manage. The total sum required for the arrangement was N21million monthly. Then they had fewer sweepers. The sweepers in the employ of the three contractors engaged by the immediate past administration were not up to 300. The sweepers were receiving N6, 500 each monthly from the contractors. The change we brought in was the take-over of the equipment by the agency. We now spend N11 million monthly, thus saving N10 million monthly for the state government. We now pay N10, 000 to a sweeper. We now have 624 sweepers in Ado and Ikere. We engaged wheel operators who clean the medians. Last year, we bought two roll on roll off vehicles to complement what we have.

Vision for the agency

In the next three years, I want an agency that would have covered the state. Now we have three dumpsites in Ado Ekiti, we are thinking of a situation where wastes from anywhere in the state can be transported to Ado Ekiti. This is because for us to be able to do commercial recycling of waste, we need a certain tonnage of waste generation everyday which Ado and Ikere will not provide for now, and I want an agency that would have in place rapid response approach to issues concerning waste and environment.

By Abiodun Nejo

This article was first published in the National Mirror


Last modified: June 13, 2013

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