The Kwara State Ministry of Environment and Forestry has advised residents to embrace the culture of proper refuse disposal to keep the environment neat and safe.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Amasa Al-Amin gave the advice in the state capital, Ilorin on Friday.
Al-Amin berated the elite for setting a bad example, saying members of the higher class in the society were reluctant to take responsibility for the waste they generated.
“The people that are causing most of the problems are the elites; they buy different junk foods and dispose their refuse anyhow, without willingness to pay for proper disposal,” he told News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“This educated and working class people refuse to pay the private refuse collectors, rather they look for cheap ways to dispose their refuse, and go to other areas and dump their refuse there.”
He disclosed that the ministry engaged private sector agents to collect refuse from houses in exchange for payment of N2000 monthly or N500 per visit.
According to him, the highest incidence of non-cooperation with the refuse collectors occurred in the central area, including residents of the elites and commercial areas occupied by companies.
“Like Adeta area of Ilorin, both the primary and secondary school sections have been turned to dump sites,” the permanent secretary noted.
“We were there at Adeta on Saturday to pack the huge refuse that has been dumped there, and we just have to help clear the refuse to avoid different forms of diseases.
“Also in Maraba, Gambari and Oja-Oba areas of Ilorin, there are lots of refuse dumps, causing air pollution and can also lead to sickness.
“We packed the refuse on Saturday in these areas, but by the following day, there were another set of refuse on the same spots.
“These people are not ready to pay for the packing of refuse, yet most of these places are commercial areas, where business transactions are done and interest achieved,” he said.
He said that the power had the power to control their refuse and could help government cut down spending on waste evacuation.
“People can control this refuse problem, but they refused.
““Until we realise our mistakes and negligence, we will continue to face these challenges and if we decide to leave the refuse, many people will be affected,” Al-Amin.