Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party’s candidate for the Lagos State gubernatorial race in 2023, strongly denounces the recent prohibition of plastic by the Lagos State government. In his opinion, this hasty and impulsive decision lacks any substantial policy-making process and fails to consider the critical aspects of such a significant measure. Over the weekend, Lagos State made a decisive move by implementing an instant ban on the utilization and dissemination of Styrofoam and other types of disposable plastics within the state. The reason behind this action is the consistent obstruction caused to numerous drainage systems across the state on a daily basis.
Despite significant efforts and resources invested in regularly cleaning and evacuating the drains, the government acknowledged that the distribution and usage of resources has been happening in a haphazard manner. In order to curb the usage and spread of Styrofoam and other disposable plastics, the government not only implemented a ban on these materials but also instigated a crackdown on production firms and distribution channels operating within the state. These measures were taken to ensure that the prohibited items are not circulated any further.
Affected individuals could face detrimental consequences.
In a crafted statement issued on January 22, 2024, Rhodes-Vivour expressed concern over the hasty and ill-considered nature of the ban, highlighting its potential to wreak havoc on the sustenance of numerous inhabitants of Lagos. Rhodes-Vivour expressed deep concern over the abrupt implementation of the plastic ban in Lagos, recognizing the significance of addressing environmental issues and plastic pollution. However, they emphasized the need for a carefully devised alternative policy in order to tackle this problem effectively. The ramifications of this decision are immense and show a disregard for the substantial financial commitments made by producers, sellers, and distributors of these goods. As a result, the potential consequences for the economy could be dire.
Rhodes-Vivour raised concerns about the government’s potential disregard for the significant impact on the livelihoods of countless retailers and small business proprietors who rely on these products. These individuals could face detrimental consequences such as unemployment and the closure of their businesses. In his criticism towards the state government, he pointed out that the present leadership lacks the necessary disposition to foster constructive discussions with those involved and lacks the necessary control to establish effective and substantial policies.
Their actions have caused the destruction of citizens’ livelihoods.
Did the government ever consider the potential consequences for the numerous retailers and owners of small businesses, spanning from Idumota to Oshodi and Ojota, whose entire source of income relies on this particular product? Did it take into account the possible ramifications, such as the significant decline in employment opportunities and the complete destruction it would inflict upon manufacturers? He stated that this administration and the party it stands for have clearly shown a form of deficiency.
According to Rhodes-Vivour, this deficiency is apparent, in their ability to effectively engage with stakeholders and develop impactful policies. Their actions have resulted in the destruction of the livelihoods of many citizens, indicating a lack of both temperament and discipline in addressing crucial issues. On the contrary, he put forth a different method, supporting a gradual implementation plan that emphasizes the importance of educational initiatives, rewards for adopting alternative solutions, and the development of recycling systems.
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Additionally, the different method should include the control of plastic product costs through regulation, holding producers accountable for their products throughout their lifecycle, and fostering cooperation among different entities involved. In his statement, he acknowledged the need for a different strategy to tackle the environmental issues caused by single-use plastics. Instead of opting for an abrupt ban, he advocated for embracing a more sustainable and gradual approach. As a solution, he put forth a set of alternative policy measures.
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