By: IFEANYI Okonkwo
The illegal waste management fee imposed on ndi-anambra by the Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA) has being suspended with immediate effect and the MD invited to appear at plenary on Thursday 27th October 2022.
Anambra State House of Assembly made the resolution at plenary in a motion of urgent public importance titled “Suspension of the illegal waste management fee imposed by ASWAMA” moved by the member representing Nnewi North constituency Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor. The house note that an existing law tagged “Anambra Waste Management Law 2015” stipulates verious fees payable by various groups for waste management.
The lawmakers frowned at the complains eminiting from the general public because of these illegal release signed by the ASWAMA MD directing the public to pay various sums of money in total disregard to the existing law.
Hon. Nonso Smart Okafor in his submission said the release by ASWAMA caused tension in the state. According to him, “Anambra State House of Assembly in 2015 passed the law garding ASWAMA and in that law, section six (6) sub-section one (1) clearly specified the functions of the agency and no section of that gave the MD of ASWAMA the authority or right to fix rates ndi-anambra will pay.
“Section twenty-five (25) of that law sub-section two (2) specified the amounts to be paid which was listed in schedule one (1). The MD of ASWAMA in his release, made it clear that they have catigorised the urban and rural areas.
“Schedule one (1) of this law clearly stipulates as follows: duplex in urban areas is to pay twelve thousand naira (12,000) annually, but the rate released by ASWAMA stipulates twenty four thousand (24).
“According to the law, detached bungalows is to pay six thousand naira (6,000) but in the rate released by ASWAMA, it’s twelve thousand (12,000). Three bedroom flat is to pay three thousand naira (3,000) but in the ASAWAMA rate, it’s seven thousand two hundred (7,200).
‘One bedroom flat is two thousand four hundred (2,400), but in the ASAWAMA law, it’s four thousand eight hundred (4,800). For commercial catigory, small restorant acording to the law is to pay twenty four thousand (24,000), but that of ASWAMA is fouthy-eight thousand (48,000).
‘Hotels of two hundred rooms and above is four hundred and eighty thousand naira (480,000) but that of ASWAMA is to pay nine hundred and sixty thousand naira (960,000). Fast food is to pay one hundred and eighty thousand (180,000) naira in the law, but it’s three hundred and sixty (360) in ASAWAMA’s release. It is very clear that the agency is awear of this law because there rate follows the sequence of the law. Where did the MD get the right to review the already existing law, Okafor asked.
“There’s already a serious hardship in the country and to compound already rotten situation with this kind of levy is very unfortunate and will cause a serious embarrassment to the governor of Anambra state who swore to protect and uphold the laws of the state which these law is part of it.
“As representatives of the people, the onus is on us to do the needful and save ndi-anambra from this administrative rascality and tension.
Hon. Lawrence Ezeudu. Ejike Okechukwu, Pete Ibida, Chidi Udemadu, Emeka Aforka and Nobel Igwe, in there separate submissions supported that the fee be suspended and that the MD of ASWAMA must appear and explain to ndi-Anambra the reason behind the act.
” We represent ndi-anambra and our job is to give all necessary protection when the needs arises. It’s good to increase the IGR of the state but we should not over task our people. We are looking at a situation where we will have tax releaf so that businesses will flow well.
“The governor appointed the ASAWAMA MD knowing fully well and convinced that he has the capacity to deliver. The primary thing an appointee is supposed to do is to look into the law guilding the agency he is to head. This should not be encouraged. The only thing constant in Anambra State is the salary of the civil servant because they are still being paid thirty thousand naira (30,000) minimum wage.
The law is meant to be obeyed. This is show of incompetency. Nobody is above the law.
Speaking to correspondents after plenary in an interview, the member representing Dunukofia constituency Hon. Lawrence Ezeudu said the idea of inviting the ASWAMA MD is good so that he will have the opportunity to explain to ndi-Anambra the reasons behind the act and where he got such power and authority because there’s a loud cry that the charges is on the high side despite the hardship being faced by our people.