The Lagos State Government has stopped the monthly environmental sanitation exercise in the state.
The government said the exercise, which used to hold for three hours on the last Saturday of every month with restriction on movement, needed to go to pave the way for a much-needed reform.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, in a statement on Wednesday, said the decision to cancel the monthly exercise followed a resolution adopted at the State Executive Council meeting.
He said the members of the executive agreed that it was no longer appropriate to restrict movement of people for three hours in a megacity like Lagos at a time they should be pursuing commercial activities.
He said, “Lagos has grown exponentially with the attendant environmental problems associated with managing 20 million people. The environmental laws and procedures being practised in the state have not been able to match the growth and the dream of a 24-hour economy.”
Ayorinde said the state government was also aware of a recent Court of Appeal judgment, which made restriction on movement during the monthly sanitation illegal.
He said, “After a careful consideration, the State Executive Council has therefore resolved that the present economic climate can no longer support the continued lock down of a megacity like Lagos, hence the need for the reform
“Furthermore, Government will also accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of new harmonised environmental laws that will drive meaningful changes in areas of harmonised billing, waste management, modern landfill sites, noise pollution, introduction of an environmental trust fund and an environmental advisory council.”
Ayorinde said the government was committed to a clean and secure environment for the benefit of Lagos residents and would continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of the state.
“Lagosians and visitors alike are therefore urged to embrace these changes and imbibe a culture of voluntarily maintaining and preserving their environment to create a beautiful and healthy city that we all can be proud of,” Ayorinde added.
He said the government would thenceforth be tougher in ensuring enforcement against contraventions of its policies and regulations.
The commissioner urged the residents to voluntarily comply with the necessary laws and support government in its bid to have a clean and healthy environment.