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.