German Company flaws Abia State Government on Waste management Project

by Odimegwu Onwumere

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

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

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.

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