LAGOS, GHANA COY  SIGN MOU ON SOLID AND LIQUID WASTE TREATMENT…. To establish Material Recovery Facility to reduce downstream pressure

The Lagos State Government and a Ghana Waste Management company JONSPONG on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to treat solid and liquid in the state.

The MOU which was initialled by the Commissioner Environment and Water Resources Tokunbo Wahab and Executive Chairman JOSPONG Group, Dr Joseph Agyepong will amongst other things establish a Material Recovery Facility to reduce downstream pressure (waste disposal volume) at landfills.

The MOU will also involve putting in place Compact /Mobile Transfer loading stations to replace current stationary plants and reduce waste at pressure points such as  markets.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab noted that the signing of the MOU is a major milestone in the journey towards transforming the landscape of waste management in Lagos State. 

He said the challenges of solid and liquid waste management in a rapidly growing megacity like Lagos  with its vibrant population, bustling markets, and dynamic industries, generates substantial amounts of waste that requires innovative, sustainable management solutions.

He said it is the responsibility of Government, as a steward of the city’s future, to address these challenges head-on.

Wahab said the partnership with the Jospong Group, a leader in environmental and waste management services in Africa, represents a great leap in government’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Lagosians through effective waste management.

“As we gather to sign this Memorandum of Understanding between the Lagos State Government and the Jospong Group of Ghana; we are not just signing a document; we are inaugurating a partnership that embodies our shared vision for a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Lagos” he said.

The Commissioner said the 2 bodies will develop integrated solid and liquid waste management facilities that will not only meet the current needs of the city but also anticipate the demands of the growing population.

He mentioned that the collaboration will focus on the pillars of technology, advocacy, enforcement, and the promotion of circular economy innovations such as recycling, composting, reuse, and waste-to-energy projects saying these efforts are crucial to reducing the environmental footprint of waste, creating jobs, and fostering sustainable development in Lagos.

He restated that the  journey to effective and efficient waste management in the State requires dedication, innovation, and collaboration adding that when managed wisely it will contribute to the economic and environmental health of the city.

Earlier in his remarks, Executive Chairman, Jospong Group of Companies, Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong said the problem of environmental Sanitation is not a matter of convenience but  a cornerstone of public health as stipulated by the Sustainable Development Goal No. 6 of Clean Water & Sanitation. 

He added that regrettably, millions of the citizens continue to suffer due to inadequate access to infrastructure, proper sanitation facilities, and water treatment facilities.

He said according to a report by the Lagos State Waste Management Agency,(LAWMA) the State produces approximately 13,000 tons of waste per day and the focus mainly by Jospong is on downstream Waste Management  and not Waste collection. 

He assured upstream operators ie. waste collectors that plans are in place to support them with equipment to make their work much more effective and efficient.

He promised to provide 2000 Tricycles to support the Association of Waste Managers in Lagos on waste collection. 

He added that the collaboration will be done with the Lagos State Government, through its parastatals Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos State Wastewater Management Office (LSWMO) with the aim to see an overall improvement in waste management in Lagos State.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Tajudeen Omobolaji Gaji, noted that Lagos as the commercial nerve center of Nigeria experiences influx of migrants with consequences like over-population, increasing environmental pollution, waste problem amongst others which have become matters of serious concern to this Administration. 

“With the Memorandum of Understanding we are signing today, I believe it is a new dawn for the City of Lagos and in no time we will have issues related to solid waste management becoming a history. I very much look forward to seeing fruits of our collaboration, for a clean and healthier Lagos” he said

Also present at the event were Lagos State Commissioners for Justice and Attorney General, Mr Lawal Pedro (SAN), Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Abayomi Oluyomi as well as Chairman House Committee on Environment, Hon Taiwo Afinnih and Chairman Committee on Environment Parastatal, Hon Rasheed Shabi and Special Adviser on Taxation and Revenue, Mr.Abdulkabir Ogungbo and several other stakeholders from Ghana and the financial sector.

LAWMA ORGANISES HEALTH AND SAFETY TRAINING FOR SWEEPERS…. Deploys mechanised sweeping on strategic roads

The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) has organised the first quarter health and safety training for sanitation workers in the state, aimed at prioritising their health, safety, and overall well-being in the course of duty.

Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, noted that the Authority recognised the health hazards associated with manual sweeping, hence the decision to roll out a comprehensive health and safety training program, which covered critical areas like proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), among others.

He said, “Our sweepers are the unsung heroes who keep Lagos clean. Like any other occupation, we recognise the hazards associated with this kind of job. Thus, equipping them with the knowledge and skills to prioritise their safety is paramount. This training empowers them to become active participants in their own well-being, creating a ripple effect of safety awareness throughout LAWMA.”

Speaking further the LAWMA boss stated that the Authority’s commitment towards its sanitation workers was beyond physical safety, adding that the recent distribution of LAG-ID cards to sweepers, in collaboration with the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), would give them access to a comprehensive healthcare plan and other vital services.

“The LAG-ID card is a game-changer for our sweepers. It empowers them to prioritise their health, secure in the knowledge that they have access to quality care. This, in turn, translates to a more motivated and productive team, ultimately contributing to a cleaner and healthier Lagos for all. With the cards, they can also have access to financial services like loans”, he noted.

In a related development, LAWMA has begun deploying additional mechanised sweeping machines at strategic locations in the state, to complement efforts of its sweepers, significantly improving efficiency and for easier coverage of the city.

Dr. Gbadegesin said, “Mechanisation is a strategic step towards modernising our operations and alleviating the physical demands on our sweepers. This, coupled with the training program, embodies our unwavering commitment to a robust, technology-driven approach that prioritises both productivity, achieving our goal of a clean environment.”

He assured that job losses would not be suffered by sweepers operating in areas where mechanised sweeping programme is introduced, appealing to motorists to drive with caution especially with the arrival of the rains, and shun littering, for a cleaner environment.

For more inquiries about LAWMA Academy, call our toll-free numbers: 080000LAWMA (08000052962), 07080601020 and 617 or send an email to info@lawma.gov.ng.

Kadiri Folashade (Mrs.)

Director, Public Affairs

22/02/2024

LASG COMMENCES FULL ENFORCEMENT OF BAN ON STYROFOAM MONDAY-ENV COMM …urges all market leaders to ensure that Styrofoam is not distributed or sold in markets

…As Tokunbo Wahab holds meeting on solid waste management with all market leaders. 

The Lagos State Government on Friday announced the commencement of full enforcement of the ban on usage and distribution of Styrofoam food containers all over the state.

Making the disclosure during a meeting with all market leaders in the state at the BlueRoof Alausa, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab said the enforcement will start across all markets on Monday.

He added that enforcement officers from LAGESC/KAI, Environmental Health Officials and LAWMA Police and the Ministry will go after all those having the styrofoams in their shops, stores or outlets and confiscate them.

Wahab emphasized that styrofoam usage had caused enough damage to the health of the residents and the state of the environment for so many years and that government is determined  to encourage viable option for Styrofoam containers across the metropolis. 

He appealed  to market leaders to be reminded that cleaniness is next to Godliness and as such they must ensure that a clean environment remains a priority always.

He added that the government is disturbed about the unsanitary habits in most of the markets across the state hence leading to the recent closure of some markets across the state. 

He explained that  government derives no pleasure in closing peoples’ businesses, emphasizing that some markets were in a sorry state because of the non challant attitude of the markets executives.

He also mentioned  that there were recent reports that government officials were attacked whenever they visited markets to ascertain the sanitary levels and enforce environmental laws in the market. 

“I will like to appeal to all our traders to desist from selling on the railway lines and all the roads. Also,we must stop littering our market  with wastes.  We must  segregate our wastes in our respective markets; bag our wastes and ensure we patronize PSP operators”.

He stressed that in a few weeks time, the state government would commission the Red Rail line that is expected to operate from dusk till dawn adding that trading activities on the railway lines is very risky and could lead to loss of lives . 

Earlier in his remarks, the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Olakunle Rotimi-Akodu charged  market leaders with the responsibility of ensuring cleanliness in their respective market places stressing, that selling on the roads should be discouraged by all. 

He added that it had been observed that some illegal markets now appoint splinter leaders, leader for the main market and  another for roadside  traders saying this illegal acts must be discouraged as it is against the environmental laws of the state. 

He called on markets leaders to ensure that they have functional public toilets in their markets to curb menace of open defecation that can pollute the environment as well as desist from indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the markets. 

Also in his welcome address, the Managing Director, Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegeshin noted that the meeting became necessary to outline the position of government on effective waste management in all markets, in line with the THEMES plus Agenda of the present administration.  

He recalled that last year, the government embarked on zero tolerance for filth and indiscriminate waste disposal in markets, road medians, business facilities and unauthorised locations around the state, saying that the objective is to make Lagos a clean and healthy city, livable for all.   

 “I must note again, that all government’s effort in the area of effective waste management, is to build a people-friendly environment, that guarantees happiness and good health for all residents”, he said. 

In her response, the Iyaloja General, Mrs. Folasade Tinubu-Ojo represented by the Iya-oja, Lagos Island, Mrs. Risikat Abeje Lasisi said that they will ensure that market sanitation continues as a daily task that all market leaders will adopt. 

She assured that the association was ready to cooperate with the State government to adopt all methods proposed by the government to ensure cleanliness  in all markets and it’s environs.

LAGOS, LAWMA AND THE BATTLE AGAINST FILTH

By Bolaji Israel

The city of Lagos, with its ever-increasing population and bustling economic activities, faces significant environmental challenges. With the ever-growing influx of people from all over the country into Lagos daily in search for greener pasture, coupled with the volume of businesses, manufacturing, trading activities and human movements around the state, it is understandable that its environmental challenges would be humongous and multidimensional.

Dirty markets, littered streets, blocked drainages due to indiscriminate waste disposal and plastic wastes and homeless miscreants squatting all around the state bridges, would readily have been the disgusting optics in the absence of proactive management and control.

However, the state government, particularly the current administration, is sparing no efforts in its renewed bid to safeguard the environment and ensure a clean and healthy city for residents to live and thrive.

Lagos, which has a population of over 20 million is projected to hit 32.6 million by 2050, and over 80 million by 2100, according to Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto.

As the state evolves into a full-scale modern city befitting of its status, the government cannot afford to do less or rest on its oars. In fact, all residents and stakeholders must join hands with in the fight to maintain a conducive environment critical for sustainable living.

Just recently, in a bold move to halt further environmental violation in the area, the Lagos State Government dislodged scores of illegal squatters and miscreants residing under Ijora Bridge.

The commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab had reiterated that the exercise was aimed at addressing issues of gross environmental abuse, perpetrated by the illegal squatters, adding that the government would leave no stone unturned in restoring sanity to the environment across the metropolis.

At the core of the campaign for a clean and healthy environment is Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, the government agency which plays a crucial role in both the proactive and daily management of environmental issues in the state, as well as enforcements against recalcitrant violators through its enforcement team.

Earlier in January, residents woke up to the cheering news of a total ban on the usage and distribution of styrofoam packs and other single use plastics by the government.

The decision had followed the menace which the single use plastics, especially the non-biodegradable styrofoam was causing on the environment, as most drainage channels in the state are daily clogged, with a larger chunk of littering across major roads and markets attributed to same Styrofoam, despite the regular cleaning and evacuation of the drains with humongous resources.

Furthermore, Oke-Afa, Isolo and Katangua Markets, in the Abule Egba area, were also sealed in January for violating waste disposal regulations and for sundry unhygienic practices, constituting grave environmental infractions.

Wahab had charged that: “The government has not jettisoned its zero tolerance for waste and the only way for markets and traders, is to engage in decent and civilised waste disposal practices as outlined by the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) as any market or facility that runs foul will face sanctions”.

Last November, the government reopened the Mushin main market, Ojuwoye, Awolowo, Irepodun and Daleko markets in the densely populated Mushin area of the state, after the traders made amends to correct widespread environmental infractions, including indiscriminate waste dumping.

Mile 12 international, Owode Onirin and Oyingbo markets were all also not spared last October as they were all sealed but reopened only after complying with environmental standards as stipulated by the government.  

Similarly, an Environmental Special Offences Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, last November handed down fines and community service penalties, to over 100 environmental offenders, found guilty of indiscriminate waste disposal, across the state.

The presiding magistrate underscored the gravity of the offences and impact on the environment, subsequently imposing a fine of ₦30,000 on each offender, with an option of six hours of community service, in designated areas like the General Hospital, Odan, and Tinubu Market in Lagos Island.

Beyond shutting markets and punishing violators, dialogue, awareness and other engagements, have also been well explored by the government and its core environmental agencies especially LAWMA.

Determined to instil a positive environmental consciousness in the younger generation, the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), last November, went on a sensitisation mission to pupils of Otto Primary School, Otto, Lagos Mainland, on proper waste management, with emphasis on recycling, as a source of personal revenue.

The Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, who led the team, addressed the pupils on the importance of proper waste management, noting that the exercise was part of the Authority’s environmental sustainability initiatives, to instill responsible waste management practices in children.

He said; “I am glad to be among you all today. In LAWMA you mean so much to us and that is why we have deemed it fit to visit your school first, being the closest to us here in Otto. Diseases like malaria, diarrhoea and the like, thrive in environments that are unkempt and polluted with activities like littering, reckless waste dumping, and open defecation and so on. To avoid all of these, it behoves you to do what is right by disposing of your waste properly into the waste bins’’, he stressed.

As the 3-week moratorium before the enforcement of total ban on styrofoam packs endures, LAWMA has held a consultative meeting with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), where it discussed ways of implementing sustainable waste management strategies, in view of the latest developments.

Addressing the stakeholders, managing director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin reiterated the Authority’s commitment to the Lagos State Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S Plus agenda, stressing that the state government had to ban Styrofoam to protect the environment and safeguard public health.

Gbadegesin, said the Authority would continue to place premium on establishing a cleaner and healthier environment, promising to continue to identify and address environmental challenges across the state, and to work tirelessly, to make Lagos a cleaner, more sustainable city.

On the overall, the government’s holistic approach signals a responsible, coordinated and proactive leadership in the state, helping to assure of conducive environment for all and sundry and preventing environmental disasters caused by poor hygiene and related habits.

No serious government should allow actions that can jeopardise citizens health and safety, and the state government has shown through its continued actions, that it could walk the talk and would not hesitate to take decisive measures to protect the environment and safeguard lives and properties of over 22 million residents.

LAWMA Academy Reaches Over 4,258 Pupils Through School Advocacy

PRESS RELEASE

The educational arm of the Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA Academy, has sensitised over 4,258 pupils of various public schools across the state, since its school enlightenment/advocacy programme began last month.

This was disclosed by LAWMA’s Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, following the visitation of the school advocacy team to schools at Eti-Osa.

Represented by the director, LAWMA Academy, Training and Development, Mrs. Bola Adewunmi, the LAWMA boss noted that the initiative was aimed at imparting waste management education in children for environmental sustainability.

He said further that the agency had utilised interactive sessions, educational materials, and engaging activities to educate pupils on waste segregation, recycling, composting, and the importance of keeping their environment clean.

He said, “Equipping young minds with the knowledge and skills to champion environmental sustainability is crucial. Through LAWMA Academy, we are engaging future generations to actively participate in responsible waste management, fostering positive change within their communities.”

“Incorporating environmental education into school curricula is vital. LAWMA Academy’s program provides valuable resources and fosters a sense of responsibility among students, making them active contributors to a cleaner and healthier Lagos”, he stressed.

The LAWMA Academy is an initiative of the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) dedicated to promoting environmental awareness and education, among the younger generation to become active participants in responsible waste management, for a cleaner and healthier Lagos city.

For more inquiries about LAWMA Academy, call our toll-free numbers: 080000LAWMA (08000052962), 07080601020 and 617 or send an email to info@lawma.gov.ng

Kadiri Folashade (Mrs.)

Director, Public Affairs

08/02/2024

LASG Clears Illegal Squatters from Ijora Under Bridge, Over Environmental Concerns

PRESS RELEASE

In a decisive move to halt  further environmental violation in the area, the Lagos State Government has commenced dislodgement of illegal squatters residing under Ijora Bridge. The  action which was carried out by the enforcement team of the Lagos Waste Management Authority, LAWMA, followed a one-week ultimatum earlier issued by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab.

The commissioner noted that the exercise was aimed at addressing issues of gross environmental abuse, perpetrated by the illegal squatters, adding that the state government would leave no stone unturned in restoring sanity to the environment across the metropolis.

He said, “The dislodgement exercise under the Ijora Bridge is a continuation of our unwavering commitment to restoring environmental sanity across the state. These illegal settlements not only pose serious health and safety risks but also contribute significantly to the littering and defacement of public spaces. We will not tolerate such disregard for the environment and the well-being of residents”.

Mr. Wahab said the exercise served as a strong warning to others who might be considering similar actions, noting that the state government would not hesitate to take decisive measures to protect the environment and ensure the well-being of all Lagosians.

 “The state governor took an oath of office to safeguard lives and properties of over 22 million Lagosians. Hence the law has to be enforced without fear nor favour. At the end of it all, we are all the better for it. The state cannot fold its arms and allow the economic gain of a few to override the beneficial interest of the rest. It is about the larger picture. It is a zero tolerance to all forms of infraction”, he said.

LAWMA Managing Director/CEO, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, said the Authority would continue to place premium on establishing a cleaner and healthy environment, adding that the dislodgement of illegal squatters under the Ijora Bridge was a step towards addressing environmental concerns in the area.

“We are committed to ensuring a clean and healthy environment for all residents of Lagos. The enforcement action under the Ijora Bridge is a crucial step in achieving this goal. We will continue to identify and address environmental challenges across the state, working tirelessly to make Lagos a cleaner, more sustainable city”, he said.

For waste management related issues, call LAWMA toll-free numbers: 080000LAWMA (08000052962), 07080601020 and 617 or send an email to info@lawma.gov.ng.

Kadiri Folashade (Mrs.)

Director, Public Affairs

03/02/2024

LAWMA PARTNERS LASRRA FOR SWEEPERS’ LAG ID CARDS.… 2,000 sweepers to benefit

PRESS RELEASE

The Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) partnered the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), to distribute LAG ID cards to over 2,000 sweepers.

The event which took place at LAWMA headquarters, Ijora Olopa, followed a successful data capturing exercise conducted earlier.

Managing Director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin, expressed his enthusiasm for the exercise, highlighting its potential to significantly impact the lives of sweepers, on daily activities and financial transactions.

“We are incredibly proud to collaborate with LASRRA to equip our hardworking sweepers with these invaluable ID cards. These cards transcend mere plastic; they represent a gateway to multiple benefits that will empower them and elevate their social standing.”

Dr. Gbadegesin elaborated on the specific advantages the LASRRA cards offer, emphasizing their multifaceted nature. “Firstly, these cards serve as a legitimate form of identification, a crucial aspect often missing in the lives of many sweepers. This empowers them to navigate everyday interactions with greater confidence and fosters a sense of belonging within the community.”

Speaking further, the LAWMA boss said that beyond identification, the LASRRA cards would unlock a spectrum of advantages that directly address the sweepers’ needs and aspirations, such as accessing healthcare services and applying for loans.

“The cards act as a key that opens doors to essential healthcare services, a fundamental right. This ensures their well-being and enables them to maintain optimal health, crucial for their demanding work. With these cards, they can also apply for business loans, fostering financial inclusion and opens doors to economic opportunities that were previously out of reach”, he concluded.

The General Manager of LASRRA, Mrs. Bilikis Abiola, noted that the initiative was a partnership with LAWMA, to help the Authority have a unique database of sanitation workers and to enable them access free healthcare services with the cards.

“LAWMA has quite a large number of street sweepers working assiduously every day and it is important for the Authority to know who they are. Therefore, we have come up with a system where we utilise their database, using biometrics, pictures and other details to ensure that we have unique people, who will be issued the LAG ID card. This will help LAWMA handle their sweepers and they will know the genuine workers”, she stated.

She said the card would also cover the health insurance scheme for the sweepers, with LAWMA ensuring that all her sweepers have access to cheap and free health care services.

Commenting on the exercise and reason for partnering LASRRA, the Team Lead Sterling Bank, Group Head Payment Products, Mr. Seyi Olanrewaju, said the initiative was to provide financial services to a large section of the public, under an initiative called identity banking, which aimed to give access to easier and faster financial services to residents of Lagos, as well as other financial facilities such as loans.

He said ‘’We have a concrete conjunction with the Lagos State Government particularly LASRRA for the provision of cards layered with a lot of opportunities. For every LASRRA card owner, you have access to BRT, loans and other financial benefits and our aim is to reach out to about three million residents of Lagos State, irrespective of their status/strata in other to enrich and expand the LASRRA card activation scheme’’.

“The card has the same functionality as the ATM card, the moment one is being given a card, a wallet account will be opened automatically, and after it has been loaded, one can have access and benefit from it. Each time one uses the card, it generates points which one can cash it out later. As long as you have the card”, he stressed.

High point of the event was the distribution and activation of the cards to the sanitation workers (sweepers).

For waste management related issues, call LAWMA toll-free numbers: 080000LAWMA (08000052962), 07080601020 and 617 or send an email to info@lawma.gov.ng.

Kadiri Folashade (Mrs.)

Director, Public Affairs

07/02/2024

LAWMA, MAN Collaborate for Environmental Sustainability

… Styrofoam ban in public interest

The Lagos Waste Management Authority, (LAWMA) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), have met to discuss ways of implementing sustainable waste management strategies, following the recent ban on usage of styrofoam packs in the state.

Addressing the stakeholders, managing director/CEO of LAWMA, Dr. Muyiwa Gbadegesin reiterated the Authority’s commitment to the Lagos State Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S Plus agenda, stressing that the state government had to ban styrofoam to protect the environment and safeguard public health.

He said: “It is necessary to establish that lack of access to a good environment, lack of awareness about the dangers of some of the items we make use of to consume food causes a lot of damage to our health. It is high time we faced the reality and choose only what is right and healthy for the people. Here in LAWMA, we are open to collaborations as long as it is for the good of the people, we will continue to support the Lagos State Government’s effort at entrenching policies that promote environmental sustainability and public health”, he noted.

“It is not right to place narrow business interest of a few individuals above the larger challenge of public interest. So styrofoam has to go”, he concluded.

Earlier in his opening address, the immediate past chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Engr. Frank Onyegbu, noted that the meeting was convened to be on the same page with the Lagos State government on matters of the environment, adding that a bold step was being taken by the association in providing alternatives, with the current implementation of the ban of  Styrofoam products.

He said: “To ensure that we are not caught up with the current situation in future, we will not wait till the government announces further ban on other products we are manufacturing. To achieve this, we will take a cursory look at how our products affect the environment and make adjustments, where necessary.

“Going forward, with the present leadership of LAWMA, we are optimistic of a quality partnership with the Authority. We will work together with them to ensure we achieve a cleaner and healthier Lagos”, Onyegbu added.

The meeting had in attendance, management staff of LAWMA, representatives of plastic production companies in Lagos and members of MAN.

In a related development, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tokunbo Wahab hosted representatives of the National Association of Supermarkets and Operators of Nigeria (NASON), where he noted that the ban on styrofoam packs should be viewed from the larger picture of public interest.

He stated further that Abia State had also banned styrofoam packs, underscoring the inherent dangers it posed, adding that the decision to ban styrofoam and other single-use plastics, had been taken at the National Council on Environment in 2021, with a three-year window for commencement of enforcement in 2024.

The Commissioner averred that at the expiration of the current three-week window given to distributors and sellers to mop the products in circulation, the state would commence enforcement of the ban, promising that it would be carried out in a civil but firm manner.

He submitted that all other single-use plastics (SUPs) would be banned before the year ends, adding that there would be windows for deliberations with all stakeholders before a total phase-out.

Wahab also urged manufacturers to be more innovative about coming up with substitutes to single-use plastics just as many countries including the massively populated India, have successfully done away with styrofoam, despite its reputation of being the country with the largest concentration of eating-out points.

It will be recalled that the Lagos State government recently banned the use and production of styrofoam packs, due to its immense adverse effects on the environment.

Kadiri Folashade (Mrs.)

Director, Public Affairs

01/02/2024

PRESS RELEASELAGOS ANNOUNCES BAN ON USAGE OF STYRO FOAMS AND OTHER SINGLE USE PLASTICS

Lagos State Government on Sunday announced a ban on the usage and distribution of Styrofoam and other single use plastics in the State with immediate effect.

This was announced by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab in a statement he personally signed.

According to Wahab, the decision was reached following the menace which the single use plastics especially the non-biogradeable Styrofoam was causing on the environment.

He added that most drainage channels in the state are daily clogged up by Styrofoam through its indiscriminate distribution and usage despite the regular cleaning and evacuation of the drains with humongous amounts.

He reiterated that the larger chunk of litterings across major roads and markets which LAWMA contends with daily is made up of styro foams.

The Commissioner added that the State Government cannot fold its hands and watch the continued desecration of its environment especially for a coastal city.

Mr Wahab has subsequently directed the State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and the Kick Against Indiscipline to immediately commence the implementation of the ban.

He asked two agencies to clamp down on all the production companies and distribution outlets for Styrofoam in the state to prevent further distribution.

Mr Wahab explained that the State took the present action, relying on several enabling laws and regulations such as the National Environmental (Sanitation and Waste Control) Regulation 2009 which was established pursuant to NESREA Act that prohibited and specifically ban single use plastic in the country but has not been enforced.

Other laws, according to Wahab, include the 2017 State Environmental Management and Protection Law which states under section 56(I) (y) “prevent, stop or discontinue any activity or omission, which is likely to cause harm or has caused harm to human health or the environment.

The Commissioner advised producers, distributors, and end-users of these styrofoam packs to take the ban seriously and find alternatives or risk heavy fines, and other penalties including sealing of their premises.

He warned that they could also be made to bear the costs of the daily cleanup of their products from our roads and drainage channels which runs into tens of millions of naira daily.

“Our state cannot be held hostage to the economic interests of a few wealthy business owners compared to the millions of Lagosians suffering the consequences of indiscriminate dumping of single use plastics and other types of waste”, he stated.

According to Wahab, the well known consequence include climate change, flooding, and diseases like cholera.

He adviced Consumers and residents to boycott styrofoam packs and single use plastics while imbibing the practice of using reusable food containers and water bottles for their food and drinks.

“The convenience of single use plastic comes at a huge cost to the society. We must all make small sacrifices for our collective well-being”, Wahab pleaded.

Signed
Kunle Adeshina
Director, (Public Affairs)
MOE&WR
January 21, 2024

“Governor Sanwo-Olu Supports LAWMA Sanitation Workers Amid Fuel Subsidy Removal”

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has distributed food items to sanitation workers of Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal. The event took place at The State House, Ikeja.