The monthly environmental sanitation exercise of Lagos State, under which citizens were required to dedicate three hours of the last Saturday of each month to cleaning up the environment, is no more.
The State Government on Wednesday terminated the regulation, which has been part of the city’s character for three decades, saying it was economically unrealistic.
In a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the State government announced that the State Executive Council resolved that the present economic climate could no longer support the continued lock down of such a mega city like Lagos, the nation’s largest economy, when the citizens should be free to engage in commercial and entrepreneurial activities capable of promoting economic growth and prosperity.
The government observed that in the last two decades, Lagos grew exponentially into a mega city with the attendant huge environmental problems associated with managing a population of over twenty million people.
“But sadly, the environmental laws, policies, and procedures being practiced in the State have not been able to match the phenomenal growth and the dream of a 24-hour economy, hence the need for the reform,” Mr. Ayorinde said.
He added that his government would accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of the new harmonized environmental laws that will drive meaningful changes in areas of harmonized billing, waste management, modern landfill sites, noise pollution, the introduction of an Environmental Trust Fund and an Environmental Advisory Council.
“The Government wishes to reiterate its strong commitment to a clean and secure environment for the benefit of its citizens, and will continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of a mega city like Lagos,” he continued. “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.”
Noting that the government was aware of a recent Court of Appeal judgment, the commission said that the thrust of the fresh initiatives, among others, is to promote holistic and modern solutions to the unique environmental challenges confronting the State while encouraging citizens to voluntarily partner with government to achieve the desired goals.
He also warned that government would now be tougher in ensuring expeditious enforcement against contraventions of its policies and regulations and that residents should therefore voluntarily comply with the necessary laws and support the government in its bid to have a clean and healthy environment.