The Lagos State Ministry of the Environment, will tomorrow Friday, September 16, 2016. resume its on-going State-wide ‘’Operation Clean Lagos’’ to complement an earlier campaign initiated by the state Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.
The Ministry said, in a statement issued from the office of the Commissioner, Dr Babatunde Adejare, that the state-wide operation which will last till the end of the year, is being co-ordinated by the Enforcement and Advocacy Department of the ministry, headed by Dr Abiodun Afolabi. Other agencies, including LAWMA, KAI, the Civil defence Corp and the security agencies are also on the team.
Dr Afolabi disclosed that ‘’the exercise, code-named ‘’ IBILE ‘’crusade, (acronym for the five divisions of the state’’) will restore the old glories of Lagos, adding that there would be simultaneous carting away of all demolished illegal structures by the LAWMA operatives.
He said that the gains of the exercise will be sustained by the Ministry’s Six Zonal Zero Tolerance offices and men of the KAI Brigade.
The Director Environmental Health Unit, Mr Femi Daini, who led last weekend’s operation had also assured that ‘’at the end of the exercise, the Governor expects that, all environmental infractions which ultimately negatively impacts on the health and safety of the people, as well as the efficiency of all the drainages in an aquatic state like Lagos would have been removed ‘’
Mr Daini said that the renewed exercise had become more urgent because of the unfavourable rainfall predictions by the meteorological agencies and the threat posed by some residents indiscriminately violating environmental laws through obstruction of the drainage channels with illegal structures and indiscriminate disposal of wastes.
He disclosed that, violations of the Zero tolerance policy of the present administration, environmental infractions; street trading, illegal shanties, extensions and overhanging attachments to shops have been obstructing traffic, walkways and road setbacks despite serial notices served on them.
According to him, the clean-up operation takes off simultaneously state-wide from 10 a.m. till 4 pm in all the five divisions of the state in Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe.
The Ikeja operation at the weekend was led by Mr Oladele Awoniyi, who covered Obafemi Awolowo through Kodeso and under-bridge areas. Some shops which were served abatement notices for a month were also sealed up.
In Badagry, Mr Ismail Oyeniran, led the operation which covered Joseph Dosu Way, Round About and Grammar School areas which were cleared of all environmental violations.
At Ikorodu, the operation led by Mr Olugbenga Onabegun successfully rid Agric, Benson, Garage, Round About, Ojubode, Sagamu road axis of all illegal street trading on road setbacks, walkways, shanties and illegal extensions. At the Sabo area, illegal ram sellers were served notices to vacate the area immediately after the Sallah holidays.
Outer and Inner Marina were cleared of street traders on road setbacks, walk ways and drainage channels by a team led by Mr Olukemi Suleiman of the Lagos Island Division.
At Epe, areas covered by a team led by Mr A.E.Fasasi, include Oja Chief,T-Junction to the Beach and Terminal areas.
Speaking at the end of the exercise, Mr Daini said that because of the massive enlightenment and adequate notices which preceded the exercise, the security agencies, which included men of the Task Force, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp and the KAI Brigade, made no arrests.
He noted that ‘’the immediate impact of the exercise was the improved flow of traffic, lower crime rate and fewer reports of flash flooding in the state, despite reports of bigger havoc wrecked in other states that is not coastal and riverine like Lagos.’’
The Commissioner, urged all Lagosians to bag their waste and dispose them through the PSP operators, rather than through illegal cart pushers who dump their waste in the state’s wetlands and drainage channels, which may result in flooding and avoidable loss of lives and properties.
Director Public Affairs,
September 14, 2016.