By Fadekemi Ajakaiye
The Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, seeks support from the Lagos State Judiciary to prosecute offenders.
This appeal took place recently at the Conference Hall of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja.
The MD, LAWMA, Mr Ibrahim Odumboni, stated that certain concerns were relative to the current trend in the State which includes, illegal and indiscriminate dumping, violation of law and order as it pertains to waste management.
He said order ought to be restored, and so the need for legal backing.
Odumboni stated that Lagos, because of its increasing population, currently generates over 14,000 metric tonnes of waste daily, while an individual generates 0.6kg minimum on a regular basis.
“Our visit is to plead with the Ministry of Justice that these existing environmental laws should be implemented, and offenders prosecuted. The Environmental Protection Law of 2017 requires that every house should have a bin, but this is not enforced,” he said.
“Our team keeps working on sensitising the people through the media, radio jingos, and the rest, but the people still violate and so the need for the enforcement of the law,” he said.
The Chief Justice, represented by the Chief Registrar, Lagos State Judiciary, Mrs Bukola Okunuga, stated that the inflow of people into the state cannot be curbed, but that measures must be put in place to protect the environment.
The Executive Secretary, Judicial Commission, Mrs Bukola Salami, stated that there would have to be a synergy of all the stakeholders, LAWMA, AWMN, the Judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission to investigate these laws as it pertains to the proposed direction of enforcement being discussed and revert to the stakeholders.
The President, Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria, Mr David Oriyomi stated that as the rainy season approaches, and Lagos being a coastal state is subject to flooding. “Unfortunately, our people throw their refuse into the drainages without minding the consequences, but we want to ensure that this does not happen this time around,” he said.
“As Private people, there is no way we can enforce the sanitation practices, despite discussions with LAWMA, and Environmental Officers, and absence of the Judiciary. So, we wrote to the Chief Judge of Lagos State to have this meeting, knowing that with the Judiciary, which is the arm of the government saddled with the responsibility of maintaining the law, we will be able to make headway,” he said.
“The essence of the meeting is to have a collaboration between the Judiciary and the Executives as represented by LAWMA and the PSP Operators in order to ensure that we have sanity during this coming rainy season”, he said.
“Our visit to the Chief Judge is to get enforcement of these laws, so that our people will desist from throwing refuse from moving vehicles, dumping on the medians, and all sorts. We must be alive to our responsibilities, PSP Operators must do their work diligently, LAWMA must take care of our various dumpsites across the state, while residents must patronise PSP Operators in their respective local governments. We now plead that the Customary Court should come to our aid and rescue the State from dirt. Knowing that with this, we are enhancing the health of Lagosians,” he said.