Cleaner Lagos: State Assembly Intervenes,Urges Strict Enforcement Of Environment Laws At Local Level

In a bid to realise the goal of a cleaner Lagos environment where wastes are properly managed and surroundings kept tidy, the state Assembly has called for strict enforcement of environmental laws at the local level.

The Chairman, House Committee on Environment for Parastatal and Agencies in Lagos State, Mr Desmond Eliot made the call at “a One-Day Stakeholders’ Engagement on Public Health Law 2015 and Environmental Management Protection Law 2017.

The event was organised by the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) in conjunction with Association of Waste Managers of Nigeria (AWAMN).

Mr Desmond noted that the law is not the problem facing the environment but its implementation.

The lawmaker asked law enforcement agents at the local level to see to the implementation of the state’s environmental laws.

”Your duty is very stronger than many activities going on at the local government level”, he said.

He clarified that the various environmental laws of the state have been collapsed into one document, promising that the Assembly would continue to strengthen the legal framework for issues of the environment

The Managing Director/CEO, LAWMA Mr. Ibrahim Odumboni canvassed radical attitudinal change among Lagos residents, towards waste management and environmental practices.

Mr. Odumboni also charged health officers to take responsibility by rededicating themselves to duty, to restore the old glory of that profession, when they commanded both fear and respect among residents.

He maintained that a key determinant of the success of waste management Operations in the state was enforcement,hence the need for synergy among various stakeholders, to work with a law that would enable seamless operations for excellent results.

Odumboni said, “After what we do ,even if we deploy the biggest resources, the biggest brain biggest mind into our day to day job, and we don’t have enforcement, definitely,there would be a lot of room for disorderliness.

“Now, our major challenge in this Sector, is the nonchalant attitude of our people,who are not ready to do what is right. We all know what the right things is. It encompasses patronage of PSPs for proper disposal of waste, prompt payment of waste bills and separating waste at source, among others.

Odumboni further stressed that all government agencies and officials saddled with enforcing the law ,must work together to achieve a common purpose.

Speaking, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji, reiterated that environmental infractions would now be prosecuted at designated magistrate courts , urging all stakeholders to work in synergy to transform the environment.

In his contribution, the Chairman, body of heads of departments of environmental Health service in Lagos State, Mr Adekunle Asimiu charged the authorities to come up with enabling laws that would aid the activities of the health workers.

Mr Asimiu challenged the PSP operators in the state to step up their work rates towards achieving cleaner Lagos.

”The sanitarians are often being faced with the people who called their authorities to challenge while going about with their lawful duty which is too dangerous for the operations of health officers”.

Also commenting on those who have the right to enforce compliance of environmental laws, the AWAMN legal officer, Barrister David Fadile, submitted that the sanitarians at the constitutionally recognized local Government in Lagos state have the right of enforcement while LAWMA and the twenty old local governments could institute a suit against environmental violators.

Others who gave their good will messages at the occasion included AWAMN Public Relations Officer, PRO, Mr Olugbenga Adebola, Lagos state Corps Marshal kick Against Indiscipline, KAI, Mrs Gbemisola Akinpelu among others.

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