There was an announcement made by the Abia State Government (ABSG) in July 2012. It told the world that it would partner with a German company on waste management project in the state. This announcement was made available both in the print and electronic media.
The self-satisfied government even advertised it on its website. But that distinguished idea may be a ruse as the German company has rebuffed the claim of the ABSG, our investigations can authoritatively reveal.
The German company’s name is given as Hartung und Partner in Germany. Our international correspondents who met with the Managing Director Dipl. Eng. Michael Struve, said that Struve has confirmed that he was surprise to read how a mere “presentation with ABSG” turned out in the media to be a “deal” with the government on the project that was tagged “Waste management Project with Abia State Government”.
Struve confirmed that no contracts were signed with the government as against the amplification the government gave the project, perhaps for cheap publicity in order to boost the perceived dampened image of the self-righteous government.
ABSG flooded all the papers and online portals with the titular project and is still having the article it was contained on its website. Our correspondents said that this is an overweening gesture of a pompous government, which claims that it “eyes profit from turning bottles into shirts”
The much touted proclamation by the Abia State government that it was going into partnership with a German-based company to safeguard the environment by setting up a recycling and waste management centre in the state has turned out to be the figment of the imagination of the government, as the German company has confirmed that it is hands-clean in the make-belief story that emanated from the government, as if there was any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties.
In the presentation which the ABSG later coined a deal with the German company through its body language, it was the Chief of Staff to Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State, Cosmas Ndukwe, who met with the team from the German company. The government made the state to believe that the project would have a positive social and economic impact on the state.
On the other hand, our source said that the German consulting expert on environment, Struve, who was on the German team that had the meeting with the government, said the project would have generated huge income for the state as well as create job opportunities for the unemployed who are willing to learn, if the state government was serious with the project and had made it a deal.
It could however be brought to mind that while making a presentation at the reception organised by the ABSG in this regard, Struve had explained that “after the re-cycling process, 28 plastic drinking bottles become equivalent to one T-shirt, and 670 beverage cans will convert to a bicycle”.
The source further said that Struve had also revealed that “19,000 aluminum tins can be turned into steel for car production, just as an old worn-out tire can also be re-cycled to produce energy” and added that “the company will be in charge of collecting the waste and the running of the centre will be transferred to Abia State after a while”.
When the citizens of Abia State earlier heard about this, they threw in their support and appraised the government, but oblivious that the government was circulating information that may not meet the eyes. Conversely, critics said that such business idea if implemented the contract money was just meant to develop a foreign country. The citizens notwithstanding had prayed and believed that the project would come to pass and described it as a laudable effort by the government that should be supported and funded by progressive minds, but they did not know that their expectation might hit the rocks.
Our correspondents said that Struve is still shocked with the level of publicity the Abia State Government gave the project which he is suggesting was politically motivated than the expected guarantee of a successful take-off on the side of the government that would fast track the timely completion of the supposedly wonderful project.
The fears of Struve now have further confirmed the mindset of many people when this rather elusive project was made publicly. People had described it as “Elephantiasis in Nature”. And others had asked, “Hope this will not be another abracadabra? The more we look the less we see”.
The prayers by many that a supernatural power should help the ABSG to achieve this “highly developmental project” may have been betrayed, as the once regarded as “great news for the God’s own state” might have turned out to be gored news from “goons’ own state”.
Abia State has a lot of environmental challenges that appear undefeatable. From the look of things, it has appeared that the government is not committed and sincere in tackling the problems of flooding and refuse disposal in the state.
There are serious threats posed by these in the state to the health of people. Not even the Abia State Environment Protection Agency, ASEPA, designated to be carrying waste has helped matter. The street sweepers sweeping the roads are environmentally defeated.
It could be figured out that the same Abia State Government had engaged the services of Phoenix Environmental Service Limited, which they say, failed to live up to the hope that was expected of it in managing refuse in Aba, to be precise.
After the agency engagement was terminated, the government engaged the services of ANCOLD Environmental to work in corporation with ASEPA, which was aimed at ensuring the clearing of waste disposal in Aba, yet the effort was mud-legged. This is not the least!
In spite of that, Hartung und Partner in Germany is rated as an adequate facilitator for hazardous waste management in medical waste, electronic waste, Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), investment in clean energy and low carbon technologies, remediation of oil impacted areas, management of end-of-life vehicles and can deliver a system that is not thorny for any country that contracted it to manage its waste.
But the citizens still fear that the primary aim of the managers of wastes in the country, especially the so-called big companies, only focus on the revenue that may accrue out of their business, without being totally committed to the work they are assigned to do.
Odimegwu Onwumerewrites from Rivers State. Tel: +2348032552855. E-mail: [email protected]