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General News of Friday, 19 February 2021

Source: The Nation

Imo to stop indiscriminate waste disposal

Indiscriminate disposal of waste in Owerri, the Imo State capital, will no longer be tolerated, the state government has said.

It said it has put in place measures to check the excesses of those who deliberately violate environmental rules with the waste they generate from their businesses, with its concomitant health hazards.

The government frowned at the manner hostels and eateries dispose off sewage into waterways, saying such can no longer be tolerated.

Briefing reporters after the regular weekly Executive Council (Exco) meeting presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, said the Exco not only frowned at the improper disposal of waste by hostels, eateries and event centres into waterways but had also taken steps to deal with the situation.

He said a committee had been set up to look at the location of the hostels, eateries and event centres in Owerri and ascertain whether they were located and built on the appropriate places, adding that anyone not sited at the right place, according to the Owerri Master Plan, would not only be sealed off, the owners of such buildings would also be held accountable, arrested and prosecuted according to ENTRACO Law No. 3.

Emelumba was joined at the briefing by Health Commissioner Dr Damaris Osunkwo, Commissioner for Environment Dr Iyke Njoku, Commissioner for Tourism and Culture Mrs Doris Akubue-Onyeali, Commissioner for Finance Mr Chuck Chuckemeka, Commissioner for Social Welfare and Sanitation Dr Elias Emedom and the Chief Press Secretary/Media Adviser to the Governor, Oguwike Nwachuku,

Emelumba said the Council also directed the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR) to implement tax obligations (including consumption tax of the hotels, eateries and event centres to the government, noting that any of them that failed to cooperate with officials of the BIR as regards payment of their taxes risked their facility being sealed off.

He said the Exco considered the steps so far taken towards the full recovery of Eastern Palm University (EPU) that belonged to Imo State and directed the Education commissioner to develop programmes and make recommendations to the government on the consummation of the ownership and take over.

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