• AHEAD OF THE RAINS, LASG INSPECTS ONGOING DRAINAGE CLEARING PROJECTS

          ….Expresses determination to ensure a flood free Lagos

     The Lagos State Government on Friday inspected some ongoing drainage clearance and dredging projects across the state, saying it is determined to ensure a flood free Lagos.

    The team which was led by the Special Adviser, Drainage services, Engineer Joe Igbokwe and Permanent Secretary, Drainage Services, Engr Lekan Shodeinde visited canals and drainages under systems 6c, 5 and 4. 

    The areas include Luth/itire/Daniyan in system 6c, Babs Animashaun in system 5, Alaka/Iponrin/Tejuosho to Gbagada Bariga, Anthony Oke Alo and Apelehin Buxton Cole.

    Speaking with newsmen after the  inspection, The Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources  Engr. Joe Igbokwe said in preparation for the rains, government is paying desired attention to the clearing of drainage channels in the state.

    He explained that the tour became necessary in order to ascertain the level of work carried out by the contractors assigned to dredge and clear some of the canals as a means to resolve flooding issues.

     Igbokwe gave an assurance to residents that with the early commencement of the cleaning of major drainages, manholes and canals in the state, when the rains commences, it will flow into it’s natural channels.

    The Special Adviser stressed that the ultimate goal of clearing and dredging of the  drainage channels and cannals  is to allow easy passage of rainstorm water. 

    The Special Adviser warned residents who have erected fences  that inhibits the passage way for movement of machinery that would effect clearing of silts at System 6c in itire to remove them immediately or have them demolished.

    He also reiterated his appeals to all those who have constructed on drainage alignments and setbacks to remove them immediately or have them removed.

    Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Engr Lekan Shodeinde said it is regrettable that many of the channels that have been cleaned  before are being littered with refuse again by some residents.

    He called for a change of heart from the people, warning that thethe continued dumping of refuse in the canals and drains will come back to haunt the residents.

  • COURT JAILS STREET TRADER FOR ASSAULTING, BITING OFF LIPS OF NEIGHBOURHOOD CORPS OFFICIAL

    A Special Offences Mobile court sitting in the Ikeja Magisterial District on Tuesday jailed a street trader, Matthew John (27 yrs) for assaulting a Neighbourhood Safety Corps official, Mr Alape Solomon  and biting off his lips during a Clean-Up enforcement exercise in Victoria Island.

    The accused person who was arraigned before Magistrate Israel Adelakun on a 3 count charge of conduct likely to cause breach of peace, obstruction of an officer and assault was convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment  and a fine of N100,000.

    The Magistrate ruled that the offences were punishable under sections 168(1)(d), section 117(1), section 174(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos state 2015.   

     The accused person was apprehended for Illegal Street trading along Eletu Ogabi Street in Victoria Island and in the process of arresting him, he resisted arrest.

    In the ensuing melee, he held on to the head of one of the officers who accosted him and sunk his teeth into the lips severing a sizeable chunk of flesh.

    The assaulted enforcement officer who bled profusely from the upper and lower lips was rushed to the Lagos General Hospital.

    The wound was treated and he had it sutured before he was discharged. 


    Speaking on the incident, the Chairman of the Special Commitee, Mr. Tunji Bello  described the action of the trader as barbaric, noting that this unwholesome action was becoming too rampant in the state.


    Bello said it was disheartening that officers employed to safeguard members of the public are being attacked by the same people whose interest they were out to protect.

    He expressed the hope that the latest conviction would serve as adeterence to people nursing such acts in future.

  • LAGOS GIVES QUIT NOTICE TO TRADERS UNDER BURNT SIDE OF EKO BRIDGE

    Lagos State Government on Monday issued a quit notice to all the traders with containerized stores and other forms of stalls at Oke Arin Market at Ebute -Ero under parts of the Eko Bridge recently gutted by fire to relocate with immediate effect.

    The State Government in a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello asked all the traders under the Bridge including those not affected by the fire incident of last Sunday to move from the present location.

    He added that also affected are people with different structures under the EKO Bridge who engage in one form of selling activity or the other.

    The statement added that the State Government cannot fold its hands and watch the lives of majority of the residents exposed to avoidable dangers, stressing that the continuation of trading activities by the traders is putting the integrity of the Eko Bridge at risk.

    Bello added that all the traders and those who have erected different types of shanties under the Eko Bridge must find alternative places to trade as the state Government will soon erect a fence round the whole area.

    He said the continuation of trading activities under the Eko Bridge will affect the Bridge and the possibility of endangering the lives of several thousands who make use of the bridge daily.

    He informed that towards this end, the State Government has directed the Security agencies to monitor the immediate relocation of all traders from the present location under the bridge and also ensure that no one is allowed to continue with trading activities under any guise under the Eko Bridge anymore.

    He also advised the Local Government authorities to desist from granting permit to anyone to trade or erect any form of structures under the EKO bridge or its environs because such unbridled activities is always counter-productive.

    He recalled that activities of people who trade under some structures especially bridges in the state in the past have resulted in incalculable damages to such structures, warning that such excesses would no longer be tolerated.

  • IKOYI/VI CLEAN-UP: 215 VEHICLES IMPOUNDED, 98 PEOPLE ARRESTED AND PROSECUTED SINCE COMMENCEMENT

       …..Committee warns liaison offices, buildings serving as hiding places for street traders, okada riders of dire consequences

    The Special Committee on the Clean Up of IKoyi and VIctoria Island on Sunday announced that it has so far impounded 215 vehicles and arrested and prosecuted 98 persons for various sundry environmental offenses since the commencement of the exercise.

    In a release signed by the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello who also chairs the committee, the 215 vehicles were impounded from various areas in Ikoyi and Victoria Island for parking in prohibited zones and mechanic workshops located in unauthorized places.

    He said those arrested included street traders who displayed their wares on walkways, road set backs, those operating illegal car wash  centers and auto mobile mechanics who converted public spaces to mechanic workshops as well as some drivers of contravened vehicles who resisted the impoundment of the vehicles.

    He explained that those arrested were arraigned before mobile courts which sat at the Safety Arena Mobile court In Oshodi and another mobile court which sat in Victoria Island during one of the several raids and handed out sentences which included fines.

    He informed that in terms of goods seized, those that are perishable are immediately sent to the various orphanages and motherless babies homes spread across the state by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps(LAGESC) while non- perishable items are being kept at the agency store at Oshodi pending when a decision will be taken on the seized items.

    The Chairman added that since the commencement of the exercise on January 10, the Special committee and its enforcement gangs made up of operatives of the State Task Force on Environmental and Special offenses, the Lagos Environmental Sanitation Corps(LAGESC), Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority(LAWMA) have also been conducting daily raids across several streets to clear all shanties and structures on Drainage channels as well as occupants of abandoned buildings.

    He warned those managing liaison offices and other types of buildings, some of which have been abandoned, against serving as hiding places for okada riders and street traders, many of who usually seek refuge in them when raids are carried out.

    He warned that if the practice continued, the committee would compile the list of such abandoned offices, publish it and may advice the State Government to take legal measures to acquire such buildings.

    Bello emphasised that the committe will intensify the clean up campaign until complete sanity is restored in all the areas of Ikoyi and Victoria Island

    He listed some of the streets were the clean- up committee have operated and cleared shanties, structures on Drainage setbacks, street traders and roadside mechanics, cart pushers include Ahmadu Bello Way, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Koko Abayomi, Idowu Martins, Anifowoshe, Adeola Odeku, Saka Tinubu, BIshop Oluwole, Amodu Ojikutu, Ologun Agbeje, Akin Adesola, Adeola Hopewell, Churchgate, Idowu Taylor and Tiamiyu Savage.

    Others include Karimu Kotun, Olosa street, Oko Awo, Sanusi Fafunwa Balarabe Musa, BIshop Aboyade Cole, Ligali Ayorinde and Ajose Adeogun while the areas already cleared in Ikoyi include Bank Road, Bedwell Road, Bourdillon Road, Alexander Avenue, Gerrard Road, Queens Drive, Olumegbon,Olawale Daodu, Thompson and Club Road, Awolowo road and Second Avenue.

    Also speaking on the exercise, the director of operation, who also doubles as the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Waste Monitoring, Mr Ayo Williams, said the clean -up committee is determined to force a relocation for all street traders and owners and occupiers of shanties and illegal structures in Ikoyi and Victoria Island by seizing their wares, dismantling the structures and prosecuting those arrested on a daily basis, both day and night.

  • LASG ADVOCATES STAKEHOLDERS SUPPORT FOR THE SUCCESS OF REGULATORY GUIDELINES IN WATER PROVISION

    Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu  on Wednesday sought the buy-in of major stakeholders and Nigerians in the water and waste water service provision to ensure the success of the regulatory guidelines in the water sector. 

    The Governor who spoke at the 2020 Lagos Water Conference held at the Muson Centre, Onikan through the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources,  Mr. Tunji Bello stated that their buy-in is essential to ensure that the water people is not only safe but in a safe environment.

    He said the clarion call by the administration on stakeholders has become necessary because it is generally accepted that the environmental regeneration programme in the water sector globally are now regulatory based and no government at any level can do it all alone.

    He said the current water crisis in which almost half of the world’s population has no or insufficient  access to clean water appeared to be an everyday occurrence which is referred to as governance crisis.

    Sanwo-Olu noted that the people created problems for themselves with the pollution of sources of clean water; unregulated sinking of boreholes; abuse and non-regeneration of water aquifers; possible occurrence of subsidence among others.

     He stressed that these problems  are matched only by the Government’s ability to create solutions and that  the forum will come up with sustainable resolutions for repositioning water governance and regulatory dispensation in Lagos State as a whole. 

    In his words: “I hope this forum will come up with sustainable resolutions for repositioning water governance and regulatory dispensation in Lagos State. I am confident that with the various stakeholders and invited speakers present at this conference would leave here better informed on the importance of and need for governance and regulation in our water sector” he said.

    He explained that good water management all over the world is one of the prerequisites of good governance adding that at the end of  the Dutch Water Governance Centre (WGC) 2011, produced a brief memorandum in which five elementary building blocks for good water governance were developed

    He emphasized that without the building blocks , there can not be good water governance and these include a powerful administrative organization of water management; a legally embedded system of water law; and adequate financing system; a systematic (planning) approach and the participation of stakeholders.

    He stated that at the inception of this administration, it pledged to create a safe, healthy and conducive environment for the good people of the state and has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the pledge through its various environmental regeneration programmes, one of which is the enthronement of a regulatory regime in the water sector.

    He thereafter called on all and sundry to join the train of collective transformation of the state while assuring that the present government will continue to create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive in the water sector.

    Earlier in his remarks, the Minister of Water Resources, Engr. Sulaiman Adamu Stated that it is imperative for the State Government and Federal Government to synergize in order to ensure there is  provision of portable water for all citizens at all time.

    The Minister who spoke through the  Executive Director, Nigeria Integrated Water Resources Management Commission, Engr. Magashi Umar stressed that the Government must ensure the implementation of water regulations law so as to find a lasting solution to the water sector.

    In her welcome  address, the Executive Secretary, Water Regulatory Commission, Mrs. Funke Adepoju, expressed appreciation to the State Government for placing high premium on the provision of clean, safe and quality water in a sustainable environment calling on Lagosians to see themselves as stakeholders and ensure the 

    realisation of the vision.

    The Guest Speaker,  from Osmotek, South Africa Mr. Julius Steyn, said Lagos State has the ability to serve as a benchmark for the rest of the world bearing in mind the state posses the technological know how and renowned personnels.

    He explained that the payment for water in Lagos State was under valued and affordable when compared to other parts of the world where water is very expressive and difficult to access.

    One of the highlights of the conference was the unveiling of Borehole permit for drillers and residents as well as four different books on water resources management and regulations by the the Governor and others. 

    In attendance at the conference were top Federal and State Government functionaries, captains of industries amongst others.

  • LASG TAKES ADVOCACY ON CLIMATE CHANGE TO SCHOOL CHILDREN

    Lagos State Government on Wednesday took the advocacy on impacts of climate change to the young ones in the state, with a clarion call for urgent and drastic actions in mitigating the overbearing effects on the environment.

    Speaking at a seminar organized at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry Conference Centre at Alausa, the State Commissioner for the ENvironment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello said the programme is meant to catch them young and sensitise the young ones towards environmental sustainability and it becoming a way of life.


    He emphasized that as a pro-active Government, the State Government has resolutely implemented its resolutions in the areas of intensive Advocacy, Annual Massive Tree Planting Exercises, and construction of effective Drainage Channels to curtail flood, improved waste management complemented with recycling programmes, and exploration of Renewable Energy Sources amongst others. 


    The Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Environment, Mrs. Ibironke Belinda  added: “The impact of climate change could result in problems with food security and may threaten livelihood activities upon which much of the population depends. In other words reduction in food production would affect wellbeing and productivity” 

    Analysing the concept of climate change, Bello said the mounting pressure on natural resources, dwindling wild life, rising world population and various forms of pollution calls for immediate change towards the environment and Water Resources, adding it as result of that, that the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources created the Environmental Education  Department with the responsibility of dealing with all environmental infraction issues and sustainability.

    The Guest Lecturer, a renowned Environmentalist, Mr. Ayo Tella, took  the students through lectures on the concept, impacts and preventive measure to ensure a safe planet.

     The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Segun Samuel said the Climate Change Sensitization became necessary so as to educate the younger ones from tender age about the  importance of greening in the society and why they must make it a way of life.

    He added that the Lagos State Government is determined to take the Sensitization to various schools across the state in order to continually get the supports of the future generations towards Environmental sustainability.

    One of the participants, Miss Blessings Saheed from Omole Senior Secondary School,  said the programme was educative and promised to desist from various activities that destroy the ozone layer.

    She added that she would go back to educate her colleagues, neighbours and family members to stop cooking with fire woods, to stop bush burning, to stop waste burning in order to safe the environment from been destroyed further.

    The seminar has in attendance students and teachers from the State’s Six Education Districts and selected private schools with the pupils getting a reassurance of the  
    re-emergence of the Climate Change Clubs in schools and members will be the Environmental Ambassadors of the State.

  • LAGOS REITERATES CALL FOR CONSERVATION OF WETLANDS RESOURCES

    As State join in celebrating World Wetlands Day

    The Lagos State Government on Sunday renewed call for the conservation of wetlands resources in the State, saying they represent a critical part

     of the natural environment.

    The call was made by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello in an interview as part of the commemoration of the 2020 World Wetlands Day.

    He added that wetlands also help in reducing the impacts of flood, absorbing pollutant and improving water quality.



    Bello said that Lagos State as a coastal State has associated with the rest of the world in marking the 2020 World Wetlands day with the theme: “Wetland and Biodiversity”.

    He stated that this year’s theme “Wetland and Biodiversity” is unique and an opportunity to highlight wetland biodiversity, its status and why it matters, 

    He added that it’s an opportunity to promote actions to reverse its loss as it is now facing unprecedented extinction rates, threatening ecosystems with severe consequences for human survival. 


    He stated that Lagos State is seizing the opportunity of the World Wetlands day to sensitize Lagosians on the importance of wetlands, calling for more community participation in wetlands management and conservation in the State.

    “This year’s celebration  is dwelling more on creating awareness against encroachment and abuse of wetlands, educating people on the importance of wetlands to the ecology and economy of the State and to foster community participation in wetlands management in the State” he said”. 

    The Commissioner maintained that Wetlands were vital for human survival explaining that they are   unique and distinct ecosystem that is flooded, either permanently or seasonally by water and is known to sustain enormous life and also provide valuable economical services to humanity.

    He added  that wetlands were one of the world’s most productive environments, serving as  cradles of biological diversity that provide water and engender the sustenance  and survival of countless species of plants and animals.

    He stressed that wetlands are blessings to the communities where they exist because they serve as water reservoir, fertile for food and vegetable production, handcrafts and shelter, adding that they provide abode for cultural, recreational and tourist activities.

    While emphasizing the vital roles of wetlands, Bello said it is  faced with many threats from human activities and is the most threatened ecosystems globally.

    “It is rather unfortunate that enough consideration is not given to Wetlands as encroachment and abuse of Wetlands is a common experience to the extent that majority of the Wetlands in the State had been reclaimed with refuse and in some cases sand filled for conversion to other uses” he said. 


    To stem this development, the Environment Commissioner stated that the State Government would step up its monitoring and advocacy programme and ensure stakeholders collaboration for the protection of the state’s wetland resources.

  • LASG DEPLOYS STATE ENFORCEMENT OPERATIVES TO SUSTAIN CLEARED OUTER MARINA, ONIKAN.

      ……..60 KAI, NEIGHBOURHOOD, LASPARK officers on ground at all the areas.

    In order to sustain the dislodgement of  squatters and illegal structures on Outer Marina and Onikan, the State Government has deployed not less than 60 operatives of the three enforcement agencies of the State  to the various points of Onikan and Outer Marina for sustenance.

    The latest move has been made possible through the creation of a synergy between the operatives of Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (KAI), Lagos Neighbourhood Watch and Lagos State Parks and Gardens to sustain all the cleared areas.

    These was disclosed by  the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello on Wednesday while giving an update on the on-going operation.

    He stated that the State has also obtained the buy- in of the Office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Zone 2 at Onikan to ensure the success of the sustenance operation.

    Bello said on a daily basis, a large detachment of the operatives of KAI, Neighbourhood Watch and LASPARK will be deployed to man and patrol the listed areas and prevent the return of the environmental nuisances. 

    He explained that in instances where the deployed teams have issues that bother on their safety or operations, they should call for reinforcement from their superiors.

    He reiterated the commitment of the administration to ensure that there would be no going back to the old, dirty, unkept environment days of Outer Marina and Onikan.

    The areas already cleared and to be sustained following the directives of Mr Governor are the Onikan corridors which include Police Zone 2 office/ the Island Club and Race Course/Lawn Tennis corridor and the Outer Marina.

    Signed

    Kunle Adeshina 

    Director (Public Affairs)

  • LASG COMMENCES MASSIVE DREDGING OF DRAINAGE CHANNELS AND CANALS.

    …As Special Adviser, Joe Igbokwe leads officials to inspect on-going Drainage dredging projects and Canals

    In fulfillment of it’s promise to start massive construction after the rains,the Lagos State Government has commenced dredging of major drainage channels and canals spread across the state.

    Among the drainage channels where the contractors have moved to site and commenced dredging are the Jankara/ Oroyinyin/ Binuyo/ Adeniji Adele channel, the System 6c made up of Idioro- Idiaraba axis, Ado soba Channel In Festac and the dredging of Gbagada- Bariga Channel.

    Others were work have started are Kentucky- Alapere, Irede Satellite Channel in Ojo axis and the Construction of trapezoidal Drain at the downstream of Ekoro in Aboru.

    Providing more insights into the projects when he led State officials on an inspection of some of the dredging points, the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Engineer Joe Igbokwe said the dredging of the channels will put the state in good stead to prevent flooding of many areas.

    Speaking with newsmen after the inspection, Igbokwe said government was taking the advantage of the cessation of rainfall to immediately commence dredging and minimise the dangers of flooding.

    The Special Adviser who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary, Drainage services, Eng Lekan Shodeinde and other directors warned all those who have erected structures on the setbacks and alignments of the channels being dredged and others remove them or have them removed and also face prosecution.
    He reiterated the State Government’s zero tolerance for environmental abuse especially drainage blockage, saying a classic example is the canal at Itire beside the Odo Eran market which is blocked with waste and refuse from the market, saying such an act is unacceptable.
    “Lagosians must desist from dumping refuse in drainage channels and stop acts compromising drainage alignment, such as building and erection of structures on drainage setbacks among others”.

    Joe Igbokwe stressed that the ultimate goal of clearing and dredging of our drainage channels and cannals is to allow easy passage of rainstorm water.

    The Special Adviser explained that the Government will look into the possibility of building retention ponds across the State.

    “Retention ponds are essential as Lagos in recent times has been experiencing flooding due to the rise in sea level and persistent rainfall”, he said.

    He affirmed that the present administration had resolved to find lasting solutions to the issue of flooding.

    He mentioned that as part of the efforts to contain flooding next year, the government will be more forceful in its campaign against dumping of refuse in canals and drains and as well as the erection of building on canals, drainage channels and water courses.

    SIGNED
    KUNLE ADESHINA
    ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
    PUBLIC AFFAIRS, MOE&WR
    11th DECEMBER, 2019

  • Lagos Alerts Residents Of Rise In Sea Water Level, Flooding Of Low Line Areas

    ……Say State is on top of situation

    Lagos State Government on Friday alerted residents on the rise of sea water level resulting in the inability of the lagoon to discharge water into the ocean causing backflow into the drainage channels.

    In a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, it added that officials of the state are also working on different measures to remove the constriction and blockades that would allow easy passage for the resultant flooding.

    The state Government is also in talks with the officials of the Ogun Osun River Basin Authority which is 

    releasing water to do so gradually.

    He explained that the rise in sea level has contributed to current flooding in many parts of Ikoyi, V.I, Dolphin and Oworoshoki because the lagoon can not discharge and is causing back flow  into drainage outlets. 

    He said the officials of the Drainage department had expected it to go down by evening but from the look of things now may last throughout the weekend.

    Similarly, the Commissioner said the Ogun-Oshun River Basin Authority can no longer hold the Oyan dam hence has been releasing its water causing rise in Ogun River and this has affected low line areas like Isheri North and Magodo and up to Owode Onirin.

    Bello said until the ocean level goes down, the lagoon cannot discharge water into the ocean and causing back flow into all the drainage outlets in the state.

    Signed

    Kunle Adeshina

    AD (PAR)

    October 19, 2019