By Olasunkanmi Akoni



 For the second time since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the state, the Lagos State Government through, the state Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA had again sealed Farms City on Admiralty Way Lekki and Ajah Quilox Pool and Bar in Ajah area of the state.


 The facilities were said to have been sealed off for contravening various sections of the extant law and also constituting a setback to combative efforts to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 in the state.


 The enforcement exercise was carried out in the middle of the night at the weekend, along the Lekki-Ajah axis of the state. Two other entertainment and restaurant outlets namely: Page One in Ajah and Bien Mange in Abraham Adesanya Estate were also sealed.

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 While Farm City, was sealed for operating a Beer Parlor and encouraging large gathering against social distancing protocol, the latter facility located at 9B Dan Suleiman crescent, Abraham Adesanya was sealed off for illegally converting a residential building for commercial purposes and operating in an unfriendly environment whereby constituting environmental nuisance to other residents of the area.


 Speaking after the enforcement exercise, the General Manager, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, disclosed that the action by the agency was in line with the Environmental Management and Protection Law of 2017 which mandated the agency to work on Land, Air, and Water to address environmental violations that could pose a threat to the wellbeing of residents and affect the environmental sustainability drive of the state government.


 Describing the development at Farms City as quite unfortunate, she said, “The agency acted following a tip-off from a whistleblower, alleging traffic congestion, flagrant disobedience of the environmental laws (public smoking and noise pollution) as well as noncompliance of the COVID-19 safety protocols.


 “Upon arrival, the team noticed several infractions and identified the same to the management, which led to clearing out the fun seekers and shutting down the facility pending full investigations.”


 According to her, the operation of LASEPA was aimed at identifying environmental violations across the various facilities visited, but could not afford to ignore the level of non-compliance to COVID-19 protocols in all the sealed facilities.


 Enumerating further that all the sealed facilities were cut in the act, disregarding the directive of Mr. Governor on the use of the face mask, social gathering, and 10.pm curfew, Fasawe said, “Therefore, their activities remain illegal and unpermitted under the State’s guidelines on combating COVID-19 outbreak.


 “All offenders, including facilities, event planners, organizers, and promoters would face stern repercussions as consequences for their nonchalant engagement,” LASEPA GM vowed.


 The exercise was led by the Special Assistant to the General Manager, Dr. Adebola Odunsi, and the Director, Enforcement, Compliance and Monitoring, Mr. Kayode Belo.


 Recently, the Director-General Lagos Safety Commission, Lanre Mojola confirmed that relaxation centres such as bars, nightclubs, spas, gyms, cinemas, and parks are to remained closed until further directives are given to them and implored business owners in the entertainment and tourism sector who are yet to comply with the directive, to promptly do so by registering to receive their provisional safety compliance letters in preparation for the full reopening.


 Mojola also declared that organisations that have collected their provisional compliance letters, especially in sectors that are still not allowed to open, should remain closed until Mr. Governor’s announcement for reopening of such businesses.


 According to him, unauthorised gatherings, parties, celebrations, services, and other social activities, are negatively impacting on human health and environmental sustainability, thereby making the flattening of the COVID-19 curve in the State difficult.

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