…prosecute 2,831 for environmental offences
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo
THE Lagos State government has ordered residents in Aboru in old Agbado-Oke Odo Local Council Development Area; Agiliti in Ikosi-Isheri, LCDA, Ajegunle in Agboyi-Ketu LCDA to vacate and relocate because of the danger posed by flood.
Meanwhile, the state government has prosecuted 2,831 residents who violated environmental offences in the last one year.
Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, who announced this yesterday, at the ongoing ministerial briefing in Alausa to commemorate the third year of Governor Babatunde Fashola, said the vacation order became necessary in view of the expected rainfall this year which could cause great threat to many communities.
The commissioner said warning notices had been sent to â€œall the affected areas in the state considered to be flood-prone because they are sitting on wetland. To avert any likely disaster, it is highly imperative for these residents to vacate and relocate to safer areas because of the level of rainfall expected this year with its attendant flooding.
â€œWe have warned them that there is no magic to be done to address the situation for them other than vacating the areas. There are other areas which we cannot mention now which have been served quit notices. It behooves on them to heed or face the consequences.â€
The commissioner said all the landlords in the areas did not have valid title document to the land and that there was no possibility of any government compensation for the affected people.
He said the government did â€œnot issue Certificates of Occupancy (Cof O) to landlords in slums area like Ajegunle, Ajiliti (Ikosi-Isheri), Ajelogo (Ketu) and Aboru in Iyana-Ipaja.â€
On the environmental offences, Banire said 1,992 people were fined, 684 persons convicted to serve jail terms, ranging from three weeks to six months imprisonment, while 98 persons were discharged for lack of evidence and reasons connected to age.
The commissioner commended landlords for keying into the stateâ€™s quest to make Lagos a mega-city through painting of their buildings, emphasising that â€œthe level of compliance across the state is now 71.51 percent.â€
On environmental health, he said 2,513 abatement notices were served in the last one year, and that 1,610 complied while 511 cases were prosecuted, adding that 316 public complaints were treated during the period while 41 premises were sealed off by court orders.
On waste management, Banire explained that the Lagos State Waste Management Authority, LAWMA serviced 4,438 companies through its 158 registered private operators, saying, â€œit is the first organisation to commence the collection of medical waste in Nigeria and we have registered over 850 health care institutions from over 3000 registered in the state.â€