The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) collaborated with the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA) to distribute LAG ID cards to more than 2,000 sweepers. The distribution event occurred at LAWMA headquarters in Ijora Olopa, following a fruitful data capturing exercise conducted beforehand.
Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, the Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, conveyed his excitement about the initiative, emphasizing its capacity to substantially improve the lives of sweepers, facilitating their daily activities and financial transactions.
“We are incredibly proud to collaborate with LASRRA to equip our hardworking sweepers with these invaluable ID cards. These cards transcend mere plastic, they represent a gateway to a multiple benefits that will empower them and elevate their social standing,” he said.
Dr. Gbadegesin underscored the multifaceted benefits of the LASRRA cards, highlighting their specific advantages. He noted that these cards function as essential forms of identification, a significant component often absent in the lives of many sweepers. This provision empowers them to engage in daily interactions with heightened assurance and cultivates a sense of inclusion within the community.
Expanding on this point, the LAWMA boss emphasized that beyond their role in identification, the LASRRA cards offer a broad array of benefits tailored to meet the sweepers’ requirements and ambitions. These include facilitating access to healthcare services and enabling the application for loans, thereby addressing crucial aspects of their welfare and progress.
“The cards act as a key that opens doors to essential healthcare services, a fundamental right. This ensures their well-being and enables them to maintain optimal health, crucial for their demanding work. With these cards, they can also apply for business loans, fostering financial inclusion and opens doors to economic opportunities that were previously out of reach”, he concluded.
Mrs. Bilikis Abiola, the General Manager of LASRRA, highlighted that the initiative was established through a collaborative effort with LAWMA. The primary objective is to create a distinctive database of sanitation workers, providing the Authority with comprehensive and organized information. Additionally, the LASRRA cards serve as a means for sanitation workers to access free healthcare services, further enhancing their well-being through this partnership.
“LAWMA has quite a large number of street sweepers working assiduously everyday and it is important for the Authority to know who they are. Therefore, we have come up with a system where we utilise their data base, using biometrics, pictures and other details to ensure that we have unique people, who will be issued the LAG ID card. This will help LAWMA handle their sweepers and they will know the genuine workers”, she stated.
She mentioned that the card would extend to include the health insurance scheme for the sweepers, with LAWMA guaranteeing that all of her sweepers could avail themselves of affordable and complimentary healthcare services.
In response to the initiative and the rationale behind partnering LASRRA, Mr. Seyi Olanrewaju, Team Lead at Sterling Bank and Group Head of Payment Products, stated that the goal was to offer financial services to a significant portion of the population under an initiative named identity banking. This initiative aimed to provide easier and quicker access to financial services for Lagos residents, along with other financial amenities like loans.
‘’We have a concrete conjunction with the Lagos State Government particularly LASRRA for provision of cards layered with a lot of opportunities. For every LASRRA card owner, you have access to BRT, loans and other financial benefits and our aim is to reach out to about three million residents of Lagos State, irrespective of their status/strata in other to enrich and expand the LASRRA card activation scheme,’’ he said.
“The card has the same functionality as the ATM card, the moment one is being given a card, a wallet account will be opened automatically, and after it has been loaded, one can have access and benefit from it. Each time a one uses the card, it generates points which one can cash it out later. As long as you have the card”, he stressed.
The highlight of the event revolved around the distribution and activation of the cards for the sanitation workers (sweepers).
For waste management related concerns, you can reach LAWMA through toll-free numbers: 080000LAWMA (08000052962), 07080601020, and 617. Alternatively, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.