The Lagos State Government has arrested about 30 environmental offenders for improper disposal of waste and disregard for the state’s environmental laws.
They will be arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the environmental laws enforcement team comprises officers from the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), and Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), also known as KAI.
The offenders, who were apprehended in different locations, were said to be engaged in acts capable of defacing the environment and derailing efforts to entrench cleanliness in the metropolis.
According to Mr Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, the arrest and subsequent prosecution of people engaged in indiscriminate waste disposal shows that it is no longer business as usual.
“The state government will not fold its hands and watch some elements derail efforts to maintain sanity in the city.
“Today’s action will serve as a deterrent and warning to others.
“The era of people hiding under the guise of darkness to dump waste at unauthorised locations is over; anyone caught will be prosecuted,” he told newsmen.
He appealed to residents to acquire waste bins and regularly clean up their surroundings as government plans to commence full environmental checks on homes and business premises.
The official reminded residents of their legal obligation towards a sustainable environment which included acquiring covered waste bins, shunning reckless waste disposal and mandatory patronage of assigned private operators.
“It is imperative for every resident, householders and business owners alike, to be aware of their legal obligations regarding waste management.
“Everyone must procure bins, engage with assigned private participants, refrain from indiscriminate waste disposal, maintain drains and clean the frontage of their establishments,” Wahab said
LAWMA managing director Muyiwa Gbadegesin, on his part, urged households to imbibe the habit of sorting their wastes at source.
“Such waste should be segregated into recyclables and non-recyclables and be disposed at designated waste bins recommended by LAWMA.
“If we do this, it will reduce the menace of indiscriminate waste dumping that defaces the cityscape.
“The responsibility for maintaining a clean environment is a collective one. It is not the sole duty of LAWMA or the state government. It is the duty of every individual, household and business owner in Lagos.
“We are appealing to residents to avoid indiscriminate dumping of wastes in public spaces as it poses significant health and environmental hazards. Violators of environmental laws will face severe legal consequences,” Gbadegesin said. (NAN)