The discussion for the third edition of Thursday Talks (May 31) was the environment and the need for active citizens to hold government accountable.
Moderated by Usman Alabi (YMonitor), the event had Lookman Oshodi from Arctic Infrastructure; Gbenga Adebola (spokesperson for PSP); Ahisu Celestine from the Otobo Gbame community and Andrew Maki, Co-Director at Justice & Empowerment Initiatives on the panel.
Oshodi emphasised the need to continue to hold government accountable for their actions, adding that social media is a veritable tool to do this.
Adebola educated the participants on the role of PSP in relation to the Cleaner Lagos Initiative by the Lagos Government. He stated that although the PSP had lapses in the delivery of their services, they had invested about N6 billion in the industry. However, the Visionscape group employed by the government to manage waste disposal in the state clearly lacks the funds, capacity and expertise in waste management despite having received a loan of N50 billion.
“We must all get involved. Our existence is dependent on the environment we live in. Policies must be a bottom-up approach.” Adebola said.
On housing, Maki stated that despite a high court verdict, the Lagos Government went ahead with the demolition of houses in the Otobo Gbame community. He encouraged the guests to challenge the common narrative perpetuated by the ruling class.
“This is mismanagement and corruption and the highest level. This is a disgrace and they need to be kicked out.”
He stated that there are massive gaps in the housing sector. “We must be willing to have a collective discussion otherwise we ain’t going nowhere,” he added.
Ahisu Celestine from the Otobo Gbame community urged the participants to come to the aid of those displaced by the government.
Thursday Talks Lagos is a monthly conversation organised by EiE Nigeria, BudgIT and YNaija with thought leaders, change agents and active citizens which aims at driving conversations around the demand for good governance driven by active citizenship.
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