From: Azeez Babatunde, Abuja
Scrap scavengers under the aegis of Joint Association of Scavengers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has pledged to obey the ban on waste scavenging issued by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
The group during a briefing in Abuja said it would fully comply with the law; but expressed concern on implication of the new policy as it could result into job loss.
The Secretary, Abubakar Sani-Baba explained the role of scavengers in steel production, adding that they often search for iron scraps and other raw materials for foundry companies to produce iron rods among other steel products.
According to him, scavengers popularly known as ‘bolabola’ have organized themselves as registered groups with identification tags with uniforms for registered members.
His words: “Due to the recent development on the Ban of waste scavenging within the FCT residential areas, we feel there’s need for us to organize a press briefing to show solidarity and compliance to the government and also use this opportunity to further enlighten the press and the government on the implication of this government decision.
“The scavenging activities in the FCT have been in existence since 1991. It has become a way of life and the source of income for thousands of Nigerian youths. Though with some avoidable shortcoming, the activities of Bola-Bola is the sole source of raw materials for iron Rod companies, plastic companies and so many others. Furthermore rendering thousands of able youths instead of engaging and reorganizing them at this point in time to use is not a good idea.”
The group further appealed to the government to reconsider and have second look at this decision considering the economic and political advantages of these teaming youths.