Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Environment held a Public Hearing on “A Bill for a Law to provide for the Management, Protection and Sustainable Development of the Environment in Lagos State.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Oludayo Saka Fafunmi in his Welcome Address stated that the intent of the bill is to have all existing environmental laws incorporated in single entity, while deliberations by the Stakeholders will be also accommodated for consideration.
Hon. Sanai Agunbiade in his overview of the Bill explained that the Bill is an attempt by the Governor to put together all existing laws that has to do with the Environment towards efficient enforcement and effective management of the environment.
He stated that there is a section in the bill that will also provide for a Trustfund, which is intended to encourage and enhance public and private sectors in environment matters in the State with new judicial framework. According to him, the Bill also seeks to establish environmental tribunal that will look into appeals and complaints from the citizens.
Contributing, the Stakeholders expressed concern on some aspect of the Bill especially on the need to involve them in the implementation processes.
According to Mr. Abiodun Taiwo Oluwaseyi, Sole Administration of Ikeja Local Government, he faced a lot of challenges in his community in terms of environmental management.
“Most of the resources have been channeled to cart away refuse from community yet little result were achieved. “I feel that we must look at a more robust way to enhance our environmental management system.” He stated
Alhaji Oladipo Opeyemi , a member of Private Sector Participation of Solid Waste PSP expressed his dismay about the way his organization were sidelined in the process of the bill.
“We have invested a lot in the PSP but at the end we were being sidelined and all our efforts are underrated. A lot of people underrate what we do but it is surely a capital intensive business. We did our best in terms of waste management; efforts should be made to complement us in order to enhance what we do.”
Mr. Chidioke Ogamakafor a representative of Lagos State Waste Management Agency LAWMA Union stated that there should be collaborative measures so that the agencies can work together. He also stated that the Bill should specify the numbers of sanitary land fill sites, suggesting 2 in each Senatorial District. He also seeks that at least 40% of the public utility levy should be paid into LAWMA’s account for the enhancement of their work.
Responding Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare assured that the stakeholders will not be rendered jobless and the government is ready to work in the interest of the people.
To this end, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun reiterated that the Committee will harmonize the contending forces in the bill to make sure it is in the interest of the people.
The Stakeholders are enjoined to submit their memoranda to the office of the Clerk of Lagos State House of Assembly on or before Friday.