_….. As Environment Commissioner also meets Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy Fellows_ 

The Lagos State Government on Thursday charged Environmental Health Officers(EHO) across the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Areas to work in synergy with the Ministry to achieve a clean, safe and sustainable environment. 

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources,  Mr. Tokunbo Wahab gave this charge during a meeting with the officers  at Alausa Secretariat adding that the combined efforts of the Ministry and the officers would continue to rid the state of all forms of Environmental infractions. 

He said the meeting became necessary in order to ramp up  enforcement of the ban and distribution of Styrofoam food packs and trays across the state, saying the pronouncement on ban of Styrofoam was made over three years but the law was  never enforced until now.

He explained that Lagos is a coastal state and as such it is prone to flooding stressing that global warming is real and every government needs to put measures in place to mitigate its effects on the Environment. 

He said that the Ministry is set to rejig the operation of all Environmental Health Officers across the Local Government Areas to effectively  enforce the law while reiterating that officers will be deployed to supermarkets, retailers and wholesalers to mop up empty styrofoams food containers / trays in stock for onward transmission to the shredding site at Oshodi. 

According to him, the number of lives that have been lost through the effect of the use of styrofoam food packs, the destruction of the ecosystem and aquatic lives as well as the menance brought upon the environment cannot be quantified. 

He added that the health of the residents is paramount to the government rather than the profits the manufacturers are  set to make from the continuous distribution of Styrofoam takeaway packs and trays across the state. 

He said the Ministry would continue with the on going advocacy campaign in the print, electronic and social media in order to ensure that the message is passed to all residents on reasons why they should embrace the ban and the need to transit from Styrofoam to multiple use containers.

PIX : 1000/1014/1021/1030/1036:L-R; Permanent Secretary, Office of Enviromental Services, Gaji Omobolaji; Hon. Commissioner for The Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab; Special Adviser on Environment, Mr Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu and Permanent Secretary, Office of Drainage Services, Engr. Mahamood Adegbite, during the year 2024 Annual Seasonal Rainfall Prediction(SCP) in Lagos State, held on 26th of March, 2024 at the Confrence room of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the Secretariat Alausa Ikeja.

The commissioner appealed to the health officers to collaborate with the ministry to ramp up enforcement on the ban of usage and distribution of all forms of Styrofoam food packs and trays across the state stressing that additional KAI officers that will be employed soon will be deployed to the Local Governments to compliment the activities of the Environmental Health officers. 

 The Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu while surged the officers to support the efforts of Government in achieving a fruitful enforcement on the ban of usage and distribution of all forms of Styrofoam food packs and trays across the state.

He said now is the time to save the environment from the menance of Styrofoam by coming up with substitutes for Styrofoam takeaway packs and trays as this particular product in question is highly hazardous to health. 

Earlier, the Head of Department, Environmental Health Department, Ifako – Ijaiye Local Government, Sanitarian Cyril Babasope who spoke, said the officers are set and will continue to work in synergy with the ministry to ensure the environment is protected from all forms of environmental challenges that ranges from Open defecation to dislodgement of illegal settlements amongst others.

He also cited political interference as one of the factors limiting the effectiveness of their operations and urged the Commissioner to use his good Office to prevail on political leaders to allow them enforce the laws on sanitation.

Later, the Commissioner also recieved fellows from the Jakande Leadership Academy  on a courtesy visit  stating that leadership is a huge responsibility and if given to wrong hands  may endanger the society, saying governments globally are investing heavily on the youths. 

He said finding the right people and grooming them can be a little tough at times but commended Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for creating the academy saying the fellows are getting desired impartations from the institute.

Kunle Adeshina
Director Public Affairs (MOE&WR)
MARCH 7, 2024