It has been a long-standing culture in Lagos State to carry out an environmental sanitation on the last Saturdays of every month. However, it has become history already as the state government has given a directive for the long practiced clean-up exercise to be stopped.
The government of Lagos state explained that there was a need for the environmental sanitation exercise, which used to hold for three hours on the scheduled dates with a restriction on movement to go in order to make room for the much-needed reform.
In a statement on Wednesday, November 23, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde said the decision to cancel the monthly environmental sanitation was a sequel to a resolution adopted at the meeting of the State Executive Council.
According to Ayorinde, members of the executive reached an agreement that it had become inappropriate to restrict people from moving for three hours in a mega-city like Lagos at a time they ought to be going about their commercial activities. He also said the state government was fully aware of a recent Court of Appeal judgment, which made a restriction on movement during the monthly sanitation illegal.
“Lagos has grown exponentially with the attendant environmental problems associated with managing 20 million people. The environmental laws and procedures being practised in the state have not been able to match the growth and the dream of a 24-hour economy.
“After a careful consideration, the State Executive Council has therefore resolved that the present economic climate can no longer support the continued lock down of a mega-city like Lagos, hence the need for the reform.
“Furthermore, Government will also accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of new harmonised environmental laws that will drive meaningful changes in areas of harmonised billing, waste management, modern landfill sites, noise pollution, the introduction of an environmental trust fund and an environmental advisory council.”
The commissioner further reassured Lagosians of the government’s commitment to ensuring a clean and secure environment for the benefit of residents. He also said the government would go on to make available the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of the state. He added:
“Lagosians and visitors alike are therefore urged to embrace these changes and imbibe a culture of voluntarily maintaining and preserving their environment to create a beautiful and healthy city that we all can be proud of.”
He went on to announce that the government would from now, be stricter in ensuring enforcement against any action which offends against its policies and regulations. The commissioner called on the residents to voluntarily comply with the necessary laws and support government in its move to have a clean and healthy environment.