Akwa Ibom State government has expressed its determination and commitment towards ensuring that the state sustains it’s status-quo as the cleanest in the country.
This was disclosed by the Chairman, Board of Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency, (AKSEPWMA), Prince Akpan Ikim, during a press conference as part of activities marking the 3rd anniversary of the present Board, in Uyo yesterday.
He attributed the three consecutive years Akwa Ibom has emerged the cleanest state in the country to the innovative models and initiatives factored into waste management and environmental protection by his administration in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
“The Greater Akwa Ibom Clean-up Campaign” flagged off on Saturday, October 10, 2020 was among the programmes conceived in sync with global best practices that helped the state achieve and sustain its status as the cleanest state.
“The purpose was to significantly complement government’s unflinching effort towards the regeneration of the environment and raise awareness on the proper disposal of waste and sundry environmental related matters.
“It was also billed to accentuate the role of citizens as key players in the business of environmental cleanliness and management. Residents needed to know that the job of protecting the environment and keeping it clean is not just the governments but everyone’s. And we as an agency we are duty-bound to enlighten, educate before enforcing.
“The campaign hinted more on the prohibition of littering the streets, indiscriminate disposal of waste in gutters by residents, defecating in unauthorized flanks, trading at unauthorized areas as well as sensitisation on residents engagement in personal hygiene and general cleanliness”, he said.
The AKSEPWMA Board Chairman stressed that on assumption of office in 2018 his administration’s first port of call was to create a new road map to stand and hiring equipment to work, given the inherited blind blueprint and the dearth of working tools respectively.
“We flagged off programs that were in sync with global best practices in September 2018. By December that year, Akwa Ibom State emerged the cleanest State in the country. In 2019, the agency had not only increased her public image from five percent to fourty-five percent, but emerged the cleanest State in Nigeria.
“The agency has sustained the tempo of performance and intensified efforts on public awareness of it’s activities, public awareness/ sensitisation leads at 51percent from 2percent; street cleaning/vegetation control moved to 53percent from percent, and desilting of gutters at 58percent.
“The prosecution of environmental defaulters stood up to1427 cases. Intervention on emergency case, on waste clearance stood at 68percent from 7percent, staff morale heightened to 63percent from 5percent etc.
“The performance index of the agency, according to study carried out by Telsrad Projects revealed a 85 percent performance input by the present day AKSEPWMA as compared to the preceding times before Governor Udom Emmanuel. Before we assumed office in 2018, the image of the Agency or public perception stood at a fledgling, 5percent.
“This meant that people hardly could know that an agency as such existed; let alone her ideals and programs. Before we took over, the agency met a monthly Environmental Sanitation exercise participation by the citizenry at 10 percent. That clearly meant it was as good as nothing. Staff welfare was 5percent, Revenue generation was 2 percent.
Ikim thanked God for the achieved feat and Governor Udom Emmanuel for giving them the opportunity and necessary support to serve the state and listed projects and initiatives for the coming year to include, the institution of Special sanitation corps, Market sanitation corps; Clean-up club in schools, Community sanitation corps and AKSEPWMA enforcement unit.
Highlight of the event was the unveiling of the first corporate logo of the Agency as part of the rebranding initiative as well as the inspection of the 10 Waste management trucks donated recently by Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the agency as a reward for state emerging the cleanest in the country.