Waste Revenue Collection: Kaduna Govt, ZL Global Alliance Begin Enforcement

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BY Bako Suleiman

As federal allocation decreases by the day,  following the sinking worldwide crude oil prices, the 36 states of federation are grappling with the challenge of managing the decreasing income from the Federation Account. Most states in Nigeria look fervently for ways of increasing their internally generated revenue. More people and organisations are being engaged in tax net as a means of boosting the generation of income internally. But in Kaduna, the case is different. Fully aware that the only way the people of the state could work in tandem with the state government on any venture that would generate revenue internally is to appeal to their interest, Governor Nasir el-Rufai chose to look in the direction of waste management and stop capital flight occasioned by processing waste outside their domains. He embraced a system whereby people can earn money while disposing their waste and keeping the environment clean. With his visionary approach to governance, coupled with his vast experience in public service where, as director general of the BPE and FCT Minister, he presidedd over many public/private partnership, el-Rufai didn’t hesitate in keying into the waste management initiative. The governor reasoned that waste, like every product, has its value chain and if properly programmed and harnessed, will lead to increase in internally-generated revenue (IGR) for Kaduna State government and greater income for the good people of the state. Before the current dispensation, revenues generated from waste collection in the state were unaccounted for for several years, with no commensurate income in the form of tax coming to the coffers of the government, but when Governor el-Rufai came on board, he made frantic effort to block such financial leakages. Accordingly, he engaged ZL global Alliance Nigeria Limited, an environmental waste management expert, to manage waste collection in the state. This was greeted with commendable applause by all and sundry. In furtherance to that and in ensuring that citizens pay for the waste collected and managed accordingly, the Kaduna Internal Revenue Services (KADIRS) and ZL Global Alliance Nigeria Limited were saddled with the responsibility of collecting revenues from waste collection. Both the environmental waste management expert and the KADIRS embarked on a sensitization walk across the three zones of the state to inform the citizens of the commencement of the enforcement of door-to-door waste and revenue collection, effective from Monday November 27, 2017. ZL Global Alliance is a solid waste management company engaged by the el-Rufai administration to be the sole waste manager that will collect or arrange for the collection of domestic waste in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria since 2016. This is apparently to ensure a cleaner,  greener and safer Kaduna State. On her part, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ZL Global Alliance, Abiola Bashorun, did not mince words while throwing her cards on the state government’s table. She would have made it clear that poorly managed waste spreads disease, contaminates water resources, increases the cost of potable water, increases flooding, pollutes the air, and repulses tourists. Besides, she brought to the fore the notion that even though municipalities have neither the money nor the skills to manage solid waste well, municipal waste management can amount to 30 to 50 per cent of a municipality’s total annual budget. Indeed, Mrs Bashorun’s partnership with the Kaduna government redirected the mindset of the state from the developing world, which tends to rely on informal waste pickers who comprise five per cent of urban jobs in developing economies. The thinking is that, while these small scale solutions are inefficient and difficult to regulate, global experience points to the benefits of integrated management and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). The venture undertaken by ZL Global Alliance in Kaduna is also risky because the solid waste sector is not a natural fit for PPPs like some other sectors. From a commercial or financial perspective, cost recovery from households in the form of fees paid for trash collection is generally very poor. Industrial waste collection can be more lucrative, but rarely covers costs. Sanitary landfills are expensive. But ZL Global Alliance brought hope to Kaduna where the disposal of solid waste is carefully now planned to generate revenues and manage waste effectively. Mrs Bashorun has continued to assure that her company will not let down the confidence reposed in her by the government of Kaduna State towards discharging the responsibility of making Kaduna State environmentally safe. The sensitization exercise, which has simultaneously been going on across the capitals of the three Senatorial zones in the state is necessitated by the need to sensitize the residents of the state ahead of the commencement of the enforcement date. She pointed out that the jointly coordinated waste revenue collection is aimed at generating additional revenue for the state government to enable it execute more people oriented projects across the state. Her words: “Yes we are embarking on the road walk to create awareness on enforcement of door to door collection of waste and revenue. “ZL Global Alliance is the key waste management company engaged by the state government to manage waste in Kaduna, Kafanchan and Zaria and that means no private organization or individual is permitted to collect any levy or fee on behalf of the state government apart from the recognized key contractor, in conjunction with Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service (KADIRS). “The enforcement is commencing this Monday, 27th November, here in Kaduna and will be gradually extended to Kafanchan, Zaria and other towns across the state with various payment depending on the area. “We are doing this through Private Sector Partnership (PSP) with private waste collectors who are ready to work and register with us. The idea is to add to revenue generating effort of the state government so there can be more money for the government to execute people oriented projects. “We are starting with high brow areas like commercial centres where we have banks, hospitals, schools, filling stations, markets, GRAs and then residential areas. It was officially launched last year but we are about to commence the enforcement”. Shedding more light on this, Alhaji Mahmud Nuhu of KADIRS emphasised that only KADIRS and ZL Global Alliance Nigeria Limited are permitted to collect waste and revenue in the state. He stressed however that no cash payment is allowed,  saying all payments are to be paid to the joint account of KADIRS/ZL Global Alliance ops or through the use of Pos or ATMs. With this arrangement on ground,  no private organization or individual is permitted to collect any waste levy or fee on behalf of the state government apart from the recognized key contractor. – Suleiman, a public commentator, resides in Kaduna