“ASWAMA should first of all organise itself and be able to manage waste effectively”
Reactions have continued to trail updated rates for waste collection released by Anambra State Waste Management Agency, ASWAMA for residents of the State.
The Managing Director of ASWAMA, Engr. Mike Ozoemena, while featuring on the radio program, “Anambra Tax Matters”, gave reasons for the new rate by the government, saying with the new rate, government would have enough money to clear every street in Anambra of refuse.
He explained that more waste collection trucks will be procured and the trucks fueled for the work, noting that waste bins would also be purchased and placed at strategic locations across the State for effective waste collection and management.
According to Engr Ozoemena, the new rate is a little increase on the amount households were paying the State government, noting that the new rate is classified according to local governments which could be Rural, Semi-Urban and Urban.
He stressed that local governments in the urban category include Awka South, Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Aguata, Nnewi North, Idemili North and Ogbaru.
He enumerated Semi-urban local governments as Njikoka, Idemili-South, Ihiala, Awka iNorth, Oyi, Orumba North, Orumba South, Anaocha, Nnewi South, Dunukofia, and Anambra East, while Rural local governments include Ayamelum, Anambra West and Ekwusigo.
He further disclosed that for Residential buildings in the rural, the rate for a duplex is N12,000, semi-urban N18, 000 and N24, 000 for the urban, annually.
According to him, while N6,000 is for Detached bungalows in the rural, N9000 is for the semi-urban and N12, 000 for the urban, annually.
Flat (2-3 bedrooms) will pay N3, 600 for rural, N5, 400 for semi-urban and N7, 200 for urban, annually.
1-bedroom in the rural is N2,400, semi-urban N3,600 and N4, 800 for urban, yearly.
1-room in rural areas will pay N1, 200, N1,800 for semi-urban and N2,400 for urban, yearly.
Speaking on the Commercial Categories, the ASWAMA MD stated that for Banks, if it is Central Bank in Rural LGAs, the rate is N600, 000, semi-urban is N900,000 while urban is N1, 200, 000 yearly.
For Commercial banks; N240,000 for rural, N360,000 for semi-urban, N480,000 for the urban, annually.
Micro-Finance Banks will pay N60, 000 for rural, N90, 000 for semi-urban, N120, 000 for the urban, while Bureau de change will pay annual fee of N60, 000 for rural, N90, 000 for semi-urban, N120, 000 for urban.
Insurance companies and others will pay N60, 000 for rural, N90, 000 for semi-urban, N120, 000 for urban.
Going forward, hotels with 200 rooms and above will pay N480,000 for rural, N720, 000 for semi-urban, N960, 000 for urban, every year.
According to him, hotels with100-199 rooms will pay N300,000 for rural, N450, 000 for semi-urban and N600, 000 for urban, yearly.
Those with 50-99 rooms will pay N240, 000 for rural, N360, 000 for semi-urban and N480, 000 for urban, yearly.
Hotels with 40-49 rooms will pay N180, 000 for rural, N270, 000 for semi-urban and N360, 000 for urban, yearly, while hotels with 30-39 rooms will pay N160, 000 for rural, N240, 000 for semi-urban and N320, 000 for urban LGAs, yearly.
Others with 20-29 rooms will pay N144,000 for rural, N216 for semi-urban and N288 for urban. Those with 10-19 rooms will pay N120, 000 for rural, N180, 000 for semi-urban and N240,000 for urban, yearly.
Hotels with 1-9 rooms will pay N60, 000 for rural, N90, 000 for semi-urban and N120,000 for urban while Video rental stores will pay N3, 600 for rural, N5, 400 for semi-urban and N7, 200 for urban, yearly.
Recreation, sport, park and leisure (big) in the rural areas will pay N24,000, semi-urban N36,000 and the N48, 000 for urban, every year. Recreation, sport, park and leisure (small) will pay N12,000 for rural and N18, 000 for semi-urban and N24, 000 for urban, yearly.
The new rate for Gaming house/pool agency is N4, 800 for rural, N7, 200 for semi-urban, and N9, 600 for urban, yearly. Restaurant/drinking parlours (large) in the rural LGAs will pay N60, 000, N90, 000 for semi-urban and N120, 000 for urban, while Restaurant/drinking parlours (small) pay N24, 000 for rural, N 36, 000 for semi-urban and N48, 000 for the urban, yearly.
Fast food outfits will pay N180, 000 for rural, N270, 000 for semi-urban and N360,000 for urban, while Night clubs pay N60, 000 in the rural LGAs, N90, 000 for semi-urban and N120, 000 for urban. Others in the category in the rural LGAs will pay N24, 000, semi-urban N36,000 and N48, 000 for the urban LGAs, yearly.
Engr. Ozoemena concluded that the new rates took he effect October 1, 2022, emphasizing that more lists will be brought to the fore subsequently.
Reacting to the new rates, a resident of the state, Ebuka Onyekwelu accused the agency of being more interested in the money it charges residents, than in taking waste off the streets.
He insisted that collection and management of waste should be of primary importance to revenue collection.
He said, “The trending announcement by the MD of Anambra State Waste Management Agency, of an increment in waste collection charges, speaks to the following:
“The agency it appears, is more interested in the money it charges residents, than they are in taking waste off the streets. Their job is first to collect and manage waste, not to collect revenue, which is secondary.
“It does also appear that the agency is willing to collect charges, even where they have not discharged their duties.
“The emphasis on increment of waste collection charges by the Agency, with absolutely nothing on ground to justify such increment is roundly suspicious.
“Waste is nearly overruning many parts of Anambra State, with no solution in sight. There is little or no confidence at all on the part of the governed expected to pay for waste collection.
“Yet, the Agency is talking about increment. It is insensitive to say the least, for the MD of ASWAMA to go on a radio station and start talking about payment of waste collection when his agency has not done much to build the confidence of the payers.
“Therefore, ASWAMA should first of all organise itself and be able to manage waste effectively. Let them create a timetable for collection, street by street and religiously follow same.
“In my own street, people have resorted to self-help in disposing their waste. How can these people pay the government for something they are already solving for themselves? We can’t justify this sort of thing.
“Money is definitely important for any government to deliver on governance indices, but there is a better way to do it, before the government earns a reputation as one without a human face.
“People should not be told to pay for a service an Agency clearly has shown to be unprepared to discharge. If ASWAMA puts itself together, people will pay. But they must put work on ground first.
“A resident expected to pay for one waste collection, how can he pay when ASWAMA has not come for waste collection in his street? What happens when he pays for a year and ASWAMA comes at will, say once in a month or once in three months?
“Fix the Agency (ASWAMA), first!”
On his part, Chairman of Civil Society Organizations in the State, Prince Chris Azor described as untrue allegations that ASWAMA was only interested in the money it charges residents.
He said, “It’s not true that ASWAMA is only interested in the money it charges residents. Service delivery is paramount to the Authority. The reason over 40 waste contractors have been engaged with a wage bill of about N400 mn per month.
“ASWAMA is diligently discharging its duties, however, making effort to improve, going forward. Its obvious that a lot is on ground for improved service delivery, enlightenment and partnership.
“Fees charged by ASWAMA are comparatively low. Go and verify.
There is no sane clime that citizens and corporate bodies don’t pay for wastes generated. I just gave the humongous wage bill the State Government incurs on monthly basis.
“Time frame has already been created for bagging and door to door collection of wastes. Further sensitization and enlightenment are ongoing, one of which was done by MD, ASWAMA, that you alluded to.
“I intend to add you to one of our media handles, and make you a special Marshal (if you wish). This would afford you the opportunity to report any lapses in ASWAMA services. “See Something, Say Something”
“Without being immodest, ASWAMA is doing a lot in the service of Anambra and sundry citizens. We are ready to improve to serve you better. And we are well prepared.”