By Moshood Adebayo
In compliance with a Lagos Appeal Court, which nullified monthly environmental sanitation in the state, Governnor Akinwunmi Ambode has terminated the monthly exercise.
The exercise usually hold for three hours on the last Saturday of every month, where residents stay at home to clean their environment.
A Lagos Appeal Court had, penultimate week, nullified the monthly exercise, describing it as illegal and ordered the state government not to restrict people’s movement on that day
In its judgment, the court banned the state government from further restricting anyone’s movement within Lagos State at any time.
But, Ambode in a statement by his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the decision to cancel the monthly exercise followed a resolution passed during the weekly Executive Council meeting which held yesterday.
Although Ambode said the state government was not unaware of a recent Court of Appeal judgment, he hinged the termination of the exercise on current challenges as well as the need to promote clean and healthy environment.
“The government noted that considering the current economic situation in the country, it was no longer appropriate to restrict movement of people for three hours in a mega city like Lagos at a time they should be pursuing commercial and entrepreneurial activities.” It noted that the state in the last two decades had grown exponentially into a mega city with the attendant huge environmental problems associated with managing a population of over 20 million people. Sadly, environmental laws, policies and procedures being practised in the state have not matched its phenomenal growth…”
and the dream of a 24-hour economy, hence the need for the reform.”
According to him, the thrust of the fresh initiatives, among others, is to promote holistic and modern solutions to the unique environmental challenges confronting the state, while encouraging citizens to voluntarily partner government to achieve the desired goals.
“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 mega city like Lagos, when the citizens should be free to engage in commercial and entrepreneurial activities that can promote economic growth and prosperity.
“Furthermore, government will also accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of the 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.
“The government wishes to reiterate its strong commitment to a clean and secure environment for the benefit of its citizens, and will continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of a mega city like Lagos. 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.”
He said, henceforth, the state government would be tougher in ensuring expeditious enforcement against contraventions of its policies and regulations and as such, residents should voluntarily comply with the necessary laws and support government in its bid to have a clean and healthy environment.
Meanwhile, the governor had redeployed the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade to take over as the Commissioner for Finance.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, the governor made the decision shortly after the executive council meeting, adding that Ashade is expected to resume his new portfolio with immediate effect.
He added that in spite of the redeployment, Ashade would still oversee the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget pending when there would be cabinet reshuffle.