A foremost Nigeria based Non Governmental Organization, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, has congratulated Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his successful swearing-in as Governor of Lagos State, the most populous city and commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, Lagos.
The National Coordinator CEPEJ, Comrade Mulade Sheriff who spoke with journalists in its Lagos office, commended the Governor for his pragmatic strategy of identifying one of Lagos State’s major challenges and quickly signing an executive order to nip the traffic and sanitation menace in the bud by an executive order to address traffic management, potholes on the roads, waste management and drainage system management in the State.
According to him, the Executive Order, which also ensures zero tolerance for environmental abuse such as illegal and indiscriminate dumping of refuse and the construction of structures on drainage points, reveals a strong commitment of the new government to tackle the major challenges bedeviling Lagos State.
He noted that the Center was more concerned about waste management because of the level of indiscriminate waste disposal in that state.
He condemned the bad habit of many people who dump the wastes they generate from their homes indiscriminately on the streets and in open drainage channels. He lamented that wastes now litter virtually everywhere, blocking drainages, thereby causing serious flooding across the State.
Comrade Mulade commended the Governor for directing the Office of Drainage Services in the Ministry of Environment to commence the clearing of drainage channels in Lagos State, adding that the directive would help to check flooding in some areas of the State.
He added that CEPEJ wants a more robust approach in terms of policies that will provide for the regular clearing of all drainages across the State, whether primary, secondary or tertiary drainage systems.
The Executive Order also directed the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps to address the environmental issues by not necessarily arresting the people but by engaging them in very effective dialogues on the need for compliance with environmental laws enacted by the State Legislature.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s directive will go a long way to encouraging a change in attitude and behavior of the people towards their environment. Comrade Mulade therefore said
CEPEJ would encourage and support effective communication methods towards educating the people on the need to be environment friendly.
The CEPEJ Boss who is also an environmentalist noted that control and compliance alone would not produce a lasting change in behaviour, called for effective and continuous education of the masses.
He lauded the representatives of security agencies for being present at the signing of the Executive Order, solicited their support towards enforcing it. He however cautioned security agencies that will help in ensuring compliance, to exercise restraint while carrying out their official and legitimate assignments.
The Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, National Coordinator Comrade Mulade stressed that the NGO was poised to work with The Lagos State Government on all matters relating to the environment and peace in Lagos State, as the organization, is an expert in peace-building, conflict management, sustainable development and environment.