Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejarehas said that the recent cancellation of monthly environmental sanitation exercise would have no negative effect on the state.
Adejare said the cancellation would enhance the prosperity of the people through increased business activities, explaining that it had been the position of the state government over the time that a megacity like Lagos State should run a 24-hour economy to bring about greater prosperity for the people.
He stressed that it had become inappropriate to continue to restrict movement of people for three hours in a mega city like Lagos.
According to the Commissioner, “Sanitation of the environment should be an everyday affair as it is done in other parts of the world. There is no place in the entire world where the whole state is shut down for three hours because of sanitation.”
He disclosed that cancellation of the monthly environmental sanitation was a win-win situation with the new plan in waste management which would involve Public Private Partnership (PPP) in domestic waste management, investment of about 86billion naira in 4 years and the deployment of over 600 new Mercedes Benz Compactors and the engagement of street sweepers in all wards in the state.
Adejare also stated that this new dimension in waste management which will involve closure of existing Landfill sites, their replacement with engineered Landfill sites, creation of transfer Loading Stations in Local Government Areas, deployment of over one million ultra-modern waste bins with censors to monitor their movement against theft, was aimed at injecting technology and resources into waste management in Lagos state through partnership with world renowned waste managers.
The expected impact of this new arrangement is that waste disposal will no longer be a challenge as efficient system will be on ground for effective management of waste which will inevitably push cart pushers out of business.
While restating government’s resolve to be expeditiously apply regulatory and enforcement measures against contraventions of government’s policies and regulations, Adejare enjoined residents to voluntarily comply with the State environmental laws.
Recounting activities of his ministry in the month of November, the environment commissioner stated that a total of 32,662.00 metric tons of waste was evacuated in the Central, Western and Eastern parts of Lagos while 216 metric tonsof marine waste was evacuated in13 major water bodies locations in the state.
He said that efforts had been accelerated on recycling in the State as recyclable materials totalling 1, 407,242 were collected from the buy-back centre and recycling banks.
The Commissioner remarked that to make potable water more abundant in the State, government carried out repair works on Borehole Control Panels at Igando Mini Water Waterworks; Epe Old Waterworks; Ikeja Mini Waterworks; Clear Water Pump (No 1&2) at Ojokoro Mini Waterworks; Clear Water Pump (No 2) Bandar; Clear Water Pump (B & E) at Epe Old Waterworks and High Lift Pump at Epe, Agric Waterworks. Other repairs include rehabilitation of Borehole (No. 1) at Agege Mini Waterworks and also the completion of resuscitation at Ajangbadi Mini Waterworks, among others.
While restating government’s policy on water consumption in the State, Adejare urged high volume consumers of water to obtain licences from government.
“I wish to restate that all Water Service Providers and High Volume Consumers of water such as Estates, Hostels, Hotels, Food and Beverages produces are advised to obtain Licenses and Borehole Permits from the Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission in compliance with the provisions of the law and pay for the volume of water they consume.”
He said further that consumers of water and wastewater would pay a 5% surcharge. “A surcharge of 5% is payable by consumers of water and wastewater. For Sugary drinks, the surcharge is 10% – 20% as applicable. The surcharge is not taxation on water. It is payment for the water itself as it is being consumed, Adejare said.
Adejare hinted that government made efforts to monitor different industries and carried out assessment of chemicals and their inventory to ensure compliance to approved standard.
“We have made significant efforts to engage in monitoring of industries including Domestic/Industrial Plastics and Rubber, Foam Industries, Paper and Pulps, Printing and Publishing, Chemical, Pharmaceutical, Soap and Detergent Manufacturing/Cosmetics industry, Iron and Steel, Chemical and Pharmaceutical etc.”
The Commissioner maintained that the government of AkinwunmiAmbode was committed to environmental standards and zero tolerance for environmental abuses and nuisances. He therefore enjoined Lagosians to continue to do more to ensure that Lagos environment is safe, healthy, livable and conducive for business.