* Seeks private sector participation in regeneration effort
By Ikenna Asomba
The Lagos State Government will next year, commence work on the construction of a Metropolitan Park on a 5-hectares parcel of land at Ayeteju in Ibeju-Lekki, along the Lekki-Ajah expressway.
The proposed recreational park will serve the people of Lekki, Ajah, Ibeju, Epe and its environs. When completed, it will be the biggest publicly -owned park in sub-Saharan Africa, and will feature a mini zoo, playing area of children, fitness centre, multipurpose game court, and other features.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode disclosed this last week at the maiden edition of Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency, LASPARK, Greening Stakeholders’ Forum with the Private Sector .
The Governor who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Tunji Bello, called on the private sector to partner with the state government in the continued campaign for environmental regeneration and sustainability, through the building of more parks and gardens across the state.
He noted that the idea of setting-up parks and gardens all over the state is as a result of the Green Lagos agenda.
At the event themed: Sustaining Our Green Lagos, Ambode,, disclosed that the state government had in the last eight years, set-up no fewer than 300 parks and gardens across the state. This effort, he said, has created over 97, 000 jobs.
The governor affirmed that collaborating with the private sector on this initiative would further create more jobs for the unemployed in the state.
“All over the world, the issue of environmental degradation and the consequent threat to mankind has been of great concern to all stakeholders; government, corporate bodies, non-governmental organisations, religious bodies, as well as environmentalists. The Lagos State Government has invested a lot in creating and maintaining these parks and gardens. This greening initiative by the state government is capital intensive and to sustain it, funding has to be sourced from other sources,”Ambode said:.
Governor Ambode, urged the private sector to step up and join the state government to sustain a greener Lagos. According to him, areas like the Adeniji Adele loop at Third Mainland Bridge; Oshodi under Bridge; Ile-Zik along Agege Motor Way; Sure-P site, Tollgate, Iyana Oworo at Oworosoki; Apakun under Bridge along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, among others, have been transformed to beautiful parks and are now places of relaxation, family retreats, reunions, children excursions and places for individual relaxation and renewal.
Earlier, the State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Babatunde Adejare commended LASPARK for putting up the programme. He stressed the need for collaboration between the state government and private sector for effective greenery of the state’s urban space.
Adejare said: “We can build and share knowledge around emerging green infrastructure as well as technologies and policy issues. Also, we can jointly facilitate shared ideas on how to encourage adoption of green infrastructure technologies in the state. Green business is a smart business. Going green provides a bottom-line cost savings, as well as competitive advantage in the market place. We must realise that the issues of environment involve promoting the general well-being of the citizenry. It is therefore of utmost importance that we ensure private sector engagement and partnership at all time,” he said.