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Lagos to reap from cancellation of sanitation day

Lagos Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare

Lagos Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare

Although many Lagosians have attributed the cancellation of the monthly environmental sanitation to the recent decision of the Court of Appeal, which declared the exercise illegal, the state government, however, said it was a win-win situation, with the investment of about N86 billion in the new plan in waste management involving Public Private Partnership (PPP) in domestic waste management.

Lagos Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, pointed out that it had been the position of the state government that a megacity, like Lagos, should run a 24-hour economy to bring about greater prosperity for the people; hence it had become inappropriate to continue to restrict movement of people for three hours.

“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 world where the whole state is shutdown for three hours because of sanitation,” Adejare said.

The commissioner noted that the new dimension in waste management, which would involve the closure of existing landfill sites and 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 the state through partnership with world renowned waste managers.

The expected impact of this new arrangement is that waste disposal would no longer be a challenge, as an efficient system would be on ground for effective management of waste, which would inevitably put cart pushers out of business.

While restating government’s resolve to apply regulatory and enforcement measures against contraventions of its policies and regulations, Adejare enjoined residents to voluntarily comply with the state’s environmental laws.

He stated that officials of the ministry would monitor homes and offices to ensure compliance with the environmental/sanitation laws.

Before the cancellation of the sanitation exercise, regulations like the Environmental Sanitation Law Cap E5 of Lagos State was one of government’s efforts towards the attainment of a clean, hygienic and aesthetically pleasing environment.

The law provides for environmental sanitation in the state, establishment of the Environmental Sanitation Corps and for connected purposes.

Section 1 of the law mandates every owner, tenant and occupier of any building to, amongst others, keep clean the side-walks and gutter area (45cm from the side-walk into the street) along the building frontage, sides and back at all times, not litter, sweep out or throw ashes, refuse, paper, nylon and rubbish into any street, public place or vacant plot.

The penalty for non-compliance as provided by the First Schedule for the first a) is a minimum fine of N500, maximum of N2, 500 (side-walks) and N1, 000 minimum, N2, 500 maximum for failure to clean drains and gutter area.

The second attracts a fine of between N500 and N2, 500.

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