The monthly sanitation day in Lagos State has been scrapped, the government announced today.
Mr Steve Ayorinde, the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said that the decision was reached at the State Executive Council meeting.
The state began observing the day during the military era. Citizens are usually expected to clean their environment within three hours on the last Saturday of the month. Movement of vehicles and people are restricted during the time.
The practice was recently challenged in the law court, with the court declaring the restriction of movement illegal.
Although government did not cite the legal setback as reason for its decision, Ayorinde said the state has resolved to review its environmental laws.
“The present economic climate can no longer support the continued lock down of a mega city like Lagos, when the citizens should be free to engage in commercial and entrepreneurial activities that can promote economic growth. The thrust of the fresh initiatives, among others, is to promote holistic and modern solutions to the unique environmental challenges confronting the state. Furthermore, government will also accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of new harmonised environmental laws that will drive meaningful changes.”
He said that the review of the environmental laws and procedures was necessary to meet the present day challenges and to promote a clean and healthy environment.
”In the last two decades, Lagos has grown exponentially into a mega city with the attendant huge environmental problems associated with managing a population of over 21 million people,” he said.
The commissioner decried the environmental laws, policies and procedures being practiced in the state, saying that it has not been able to match the phenomenal growth and the dream of a 24-hour economy.
“Changes in areas of harmonized billing, waste management, modern landfill sites, noise pollution, introduction of an Environmental Trust Fund and an Environmental Advisory Council. The government wishes to reiterate its strong commitment to a clean and secure the environment for the benefit of its citizens. And we will continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of a mega city like Lagos. Residents 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,” he said.
Ayorinde said that the state government would henceforth be tougher in ensuring enforcement against contraventions of its policies and regulations.
He urged residents to voluntarily comply with the necessary laws and support government in its bid to have a clean and healthy environment.