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Lagos Assembly moves to end challenges of building collapse

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The Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Mudashiru Obasa on Wednesday said that most cases of collapsed buildings in the state were preventable with collective efforts of all professionals.

 

Obasa disclosed this at a-Day Stakeholders’ Meeting on Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Regulations 2018, Building Control Regulations 2018 as well as the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Amendment Bill 2015.

 

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the public hearing was organised by the House Committee on Physical Planning and Urban Development headed by Mr Setonji David (APC-Badagry II).

 

 

The Speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni said that the regulations and amendments would make the state better and end building collapses.

 

Obasa, who highlighted recent cases of building collapses where school children were victims, said that such tragedy could be prevented if every hand were on deck with enabling regulations.

 

 

“We appreciate your presence and we feel that the state and all of us would be better for it at the end of the day. On March 13th 2019 there was a building collapse in Ita Faaji and many pupils died.

 

“On 25th of March, 2019 another building collapsed in Kaakawa area of Lagos Island. All those stories that touch the heart are preventable if all of us do the right thing.

 

“I want to believe that these three regulations touch on aspects of constructing buildings. I believe that if all officers adhere strictly to all these, there would not be building collapse in Lagos Island or anywhere.

 

“We all have duties to protect the vulnerable children and adults that were affected by the building collapse.  We should do all we can to protect our buildings. Your inputs matter in all regulations.’’

 

Over viewing, the Majority Leader of the House, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, said that the Building Control Regulations has three parts which included-Notice, Plans and Certificates; Building Construction and Development and Statutory Notices, Offences and Penalties.

 

 

On the Physical Planning Permit Regulations, Agunbiade said that the regulations comprised approval to carry out development, application for planning permit, submission of application among others.

 

 

On a bill for a law to amend the Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law 2015, he said that the amendment to the bill would give life to the regulations.

 

According to Agunbiade, the bill seeks to amend 11 out of the 103 sections of the extant law, and introduce a new 27 sections as well as repeal the Lagos State Model City Development Authority law.

 

 

NAN reports that the public hearing was well attended by members of the Nigerian Institute of Town Planners, Nigerian Institute of Engineers, academics, consultants and concern stakeholders among others.

 

The stakeholders, who took turns to commend the regulations and proposed amendment, advocated engagement of various professionals like structural engineers, civil engineers, architects and others to stem the tide.

 

Some of the stakeholders however said that the notice of the public hearing was too short for adequate planning and robust contributions by them.

 

 

In his contribution, Mr Lukman Oshodi, the Vice Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP), said that the rank of Lagos as city was relatively low in respect to building regulations.

 

 

Oshodi, who called for engagement of qualified professionals, harped on implementation and enforcement of regulations and also advocated accredited certifiers.

 

 

Prof. Martins Dada, a building expert, who called for adequate planning, said that the state should exceed the minimum requirements in building control.

 

Dada said that regulations under consideration did not even meet the minimum requirements, adding that registered builders should supervise buildings and not the regulatory agencies.

 

The Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers, Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Lola Adetona called for timeline for approval of permit and the cost.

 

 

Also, Mr Kunle Awobodu of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria (CORBON) noted that some people employed by Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABSCA) to monitor sites were not qualified.

 

 

 

Prof. Leke Oduwoye, a Town Planner and Architect said that development control was a course in university, saying that many so called professionals were not knowledgeable and well-trained.

 

Oduwoye called on professionals to know their boundaries to avoid confusion on the field.

 

 

In the opinion of Mr Moses Ogunleye, a Town Planner said that regulations should not be harmful to the developers but instead enhance ease of doing business.

 

 

Mr Rotimi Ogunleye, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development said:“When we have a substantive law, there must be regulations to implement it.’’

 

The commissioner said that the Lagos State Materials Testing Laboratory (LSMTL) law operations were relevant to the MPP & UD, hence it should not be deleted as being proposed.

 

He said that the ministry had been finding it problematic implementing the section 74 of the extant law, which bothers on forfeiture of property.

 

Earlier, the committee chairman, David said that the public hearing was to ensure proper building development and end tales of woes due to incessant building collapse.

 

 

 

Politics

COVID-19: Lagos discharges 42 more patients

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Lagos State Government says 42 more Coronavirus patients have recovered and discharged from the state isolation centres.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu said in a statement on Saturday that the number of patients successfully managed and discharged was 994.

Good people of Lagos, 42 fully recovered COVID-19 Lagos patients; 11 females and 31 males, have been discharged from our Isolation facilities today to reunite with the society.

The patients; 20 from Gbagada, 11 from Eti-Osa (LandMark) and 11 from Lekki Isolation Centres, were discharged today after testing negative to COVID-19.

”This brings to 994, the number of #COVID-19 confirmed cases that have been successfully managed and discharged in Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said.


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Economy

NPA expects 16 ships carrying petroleum products, others at Lagos Ports

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it is expecting 16 ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods from June 6 to June 20.

The NPA made the announcement in its publication, `Shipping Position,’ a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Saturday.

According to the publication, the ships are expected to arrive at the Lagos Port Complex.

The publication said that the ships contained containers, frozen fish, base oil, general cargo, bulk salt, bulk clinker, butane gas, bulk wheat and soya beans.

It said that 23 ships had arrived the ports, waiting to berth with containers, general cargo and petrol.

The NPA said that 17 other ships were at the ports discharging containers, petrol, butane, bulk fertilizer, bulk wheat, general cargo and frozen fish.


Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)

 

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Politics

Lagos Assembly Speaker appears before panel on allegations of corruption

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Mr Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, on Saturday appeared before state assembly panel of enquiry on the corruption allegations leveled against him by an online medium.

Obasa told the panel that the allegations were untrue and that it was the handiworkmof his enemies.

The speaker appeared before the nine-man Fact Finding Panel of the House headed by Mr Victor Akande (Ojo Constituency I) at the House chamber.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that an online medium had reported on May 23 that at least 64 bank accounts have been discovered and linked to the Bank Verification Number of the speaker.

The online medium, said that its discovered that the accounts registered with various names, are being used to siphon public funds and many other allegations against the speaker.

Responding to questions from members of the Committee, Obasa said that all the allegations made by the online medium in the reports were unfounded.

The speaker explained that the vehicles bought for the members of the House and other expenses made by the House were done with the approval of the House and that of the Fund Management Committee (FMU) of the House headed by him.

“We bought land cruisers for Principal Officers of the House. The cars we bought for them are always higher than those of other members and we followed the due process in the purchase.

“We went through the Public Procurement Agency (PPA) and others and the vehicles were distributed appropriately.

“It was agreed at the parliamentary meetings on about four occasions and the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, is the Secretary.

“Also, it is not true that my wife collects N10 million monthly from the House. Anyone who says she does should come with proofs and evidences.

“My approval limit as the Speaker is N100 million and anything above that would have to be approved by the Fund Management Committee.

Obasa also debunked an allegation that N258 million was spent for the printing of invitation cards for the inauguration of the 9th Assembly.

He said that the whole event cost N61 million and that N1.1 million was spent on printing  of the invitation cards.

“It is not possible to spend N258 million to print invitation cards. We are not involved in such a frivolous expenditure,” he said.

Obasa, while explaining on the expenditure of N80 million as estacode for the training of women in Dubai, said that wives of the 20 lawmakers attended the event and that he was there to declare the event open.

We gave N4 million to each of the participants for air ticket, hotels, feedings and local travel.

“Air ticket to Dubai alone is about N2 million. Some of these allegations were raised for a crusade to get the speaker out of office.

The House of Assembly is above common standard of excellence and we have to train people, and this comes with a cost. Learning is not cheap and I have never collected N80 million for estacode at a go before,” he said.

The speaker, while defending the purchase of eight Hiace buses for committee works in the Assembly, said it was discovered that the House was spending a lot of money to repair vehicles.

“That was why the House decided to buy the buses, the buses were there for everybody to see with documents to defend the purchases,” he said.

Obasa also denied the allegation that he spent N53 million for a trip to the United States of America with his mistress.

“We were invited by the Consular General for a programme in the United States. Later, the programme was postponed, but I had gone ahead.

“I had to return home and I told others not to bother to come until the new dates,” the speaker said.

Obasa, however, told the committee that it was not possible for him to spend N17 million for cleaning of his guest house, being one of the allegations made by the online medium.

“They only remove documents and fly them around to please themselves. All our payments go through certain procedures.

“The expenditure had been there before I became the speaker. There was no way I could have spent such amount on cleaning my guest house.

“On the issue of awarding contracts to companies belonging to me, they should come and show evidence of where I awarded contracts to myself,” he told the panel.

On the report that he tricked former Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, to spend N350 million for hosting a meeting of Conference of Speakers, Obasa, told the committee that this was not possible.

The speaker said such situation was not possible since Ambode was an accountant, who rose to be the Chief Accountant of the State.

“There was no way I could have tricked Ambode to release such money, we had a meeting of the Conference of Speakers, who came with three members each and we had sub-committees who were given two million naira each.

“We paid for the tickets of each speakers, we pay for their hotel accommodation, feeding and souvenirs. We also provided local transportation for them.

“All these allegations are deliberate actions of my enemies to achieve their aims that they could not achieve in the House to remove me as the Speaker of the House, which was why they came up with such reports,” he said.

The speaker denied spending N60 million for social influences.

Obasa said he did not know the companies they were talking about.

The BVN they were flying about was not correct.

Whatever I have done as a Speaker, all the approvals I gave as Speaker were given based on collective approval of the members of the House,” he said.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, who also appeared before the panel denied attending meeting in Dubai as against the report of online medium.

Also speaking, Chairman of the House Committee on Information and Strategy, Mr Tunde Braimoh, said he didn’t know how much was spent on the hosting of Conference of Speakers, since different people handled different aspects of the event.

“We provided hospitality for the few the people that came. The event involved other things, there were catering and others that were given to other people to handle.

“It is most uncharitable to say we spent N47.5 million for social media influencers. We spend money on publicity and public relations.

“We have programmes that we pay for, on TVC and LTV 8. We have a magazine that we produce and we print 40,000 copies quarterly and distribute to schools and other places and we pay for the content, design and production,” he said.

The Clerk of the House, Mr. Azeez Sanni, also defended the estacode for the trip to the United States, saying that it followed the standard procedure.

Sanni said the programme was budgeted for under conferences and seminars.

The clerk, however, agreed that some documents might have been released to the online medium through some disgruntled staffers of the House.

“We have been taking steps on that and we have transferred some members of staff.

“The files go through many tables and there is no doubt that some devilish staffers take pictures of some of these documents and send to these people.

“The staff have taken oaths and this attracts dismissal. Unofficial disclosure of information attracts dismissal in the civil service,” he stated.

Two officials of Zenith Bank; Mr John Olorundare, Chief Compliance Officer, Mr John Olorundare, Zonal Head of Alausa, Mr Sanni Idowu Awe, also appeared before the panel.

The bank officials stated that an individual could only have one Bank Verification Number (BVN).

They confirmed that different account names could not be used for one BVN and that Obasa had only six accounts with Zenith Bank.

According to them, only two of the accounts are operational; one savings and current, while the rest are dormant.

Present at the meeting were other members of the committee which include: Mr Yinka Ogundimu (Agege II), Mr Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa II), Mr Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi Ifelodun I) and Mr Ajani Owolabi (Lagos Mainland I).

Others are Mrs Mojisola Alli-Macaulay (Amuwo Odofin I), Mr Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu I) and Mr Akeem Shokunle (Oshodi/Isolo I)


Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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General news

Post COVID-19: Lagos Govt advises women to acquire skills, embrace agriculture

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Mrs Cecelia Bolaji-Dada, Lagos State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, on Saturday advised women to embark on skills acquisition that would sustain them after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bolaji-Dada, who gave the advice at the monthly congress of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Lagos State Chapter’s Zoom Meeting, also enjoined women to embrace agriculture.

Theme of the Zoom Meeting was: “Post COVID -19: Financial Recovery and Empowerment Opportunity for Women.”

According to her, COVID-19 has started affecting the economies of the countries in a way that is leading to many job cuts and losses.

”We cannot wish COVID-19 and its impact away, but we must make deliberate efforts toward skill acquisition and engagement in agriculture.There is surely life after COVID-19.

“I strongly recommend that women in Lagos should go back to invest in agriculture. The time to invest in specific skills and agriculture is now,” she said.

The commissioner noted that women were often worst hit by the economic challenges, adding it was imperative for women to begin to evolve strategies for absorbing the shocks.

Bolaji-Dada said that various sectors were currently being adversely affected by the effects of COVID-19, and reminded women on the need to be proactive by acquiring skills and going into farming.

She said it was important for women to know that skills acquisition was one of the surest ways to achieving women empowerment and financial independence.

Bolaji-Dada said the state government has several vocational centres that had empowered many women in the state in various skills as well as gave them startups.

The commissioner, while thanking NAWOJ for its collaboration with her ministry and for choosing her as patron, promised to assist female journalists who were willing to go into agriculture.

She said that the state government currently had various agricultural programmes and other empowerment initiatives that had attracted women in the state.

In her remarks, Chairperson of NAWOJ in Lagos, Mrs Adeola Ekini, at the special congress dedicated to the first anniversary of her tenure in office, thanked the commissioner for her partnership with the association.

Ekini promised to make the list of female journalists and other programmes to the ministry.

She thanked members of the association for their supports.

Edited /Olagoke Olatoye

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Politics

Lagos govt. charges religious centres on ”No face mask, No entry” guideline

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The Lagos State Government has charged religious centres not to compromise on the ”No face mask, No entry” guideline in order to curb the spread of coronavirus disease.

Mr Lanre Mojola, Director General, Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), gave the charge during a news briefing on Friday at Ikeja.

Mojola said that any worship centre that failed to observe the ”No face mask, No entry” and other guidelines would be shut.

He said that officials of the COVID-19 Compliance Taskforce would be deployed to strictly enforce all the guidelines earlier announced by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

It would be recalled that the governor had on Thursday, June 4, announced the reopening of religious centres in Lagos, from June 19 for mosques and June 21 for churches, with an attendance of 40 per cent capacity or not more than 500 worshipers.

Reiterating the state’s recent guideline on religious gathering, the DG said that while religious centres had been directed to open in two weeks time, their worship services should be restricted to not more than once a week, as mid-week and other programmes remained suspended.

He urged that worshippers should abide by the issued safety guidelines which included: physical distancing; regular disinfection; temperature check; wearing of face mask; and having more than one service.

According to him, attendees to worship centres should be above 15 and not above 65 years of age.

Moyola encouraged that outdoor services be preferred to indoor services, and people running temperature higher than 37.5 should be restricted from entering into the venue.

Other safety measures include avoiding hand shakes; ensuring 2-metres distancing; stationary collections or electronic cash transfer for offering; effectively controlled traffic for exiting worship venues; as well as guarding against loitering around worship arena.

He said that worship centres should nominate representatives to serve as interface in liaising with the LSSC.

”We will continue to enforce the guidelines; we will continue to sensitise our citizenry so that we can collectively fight this virus,” the DG said.

Speaking on reopening of businesses in the state, Mojola urged business organisations to follow the ”Register-To-Open” policy, as it was geared toward full reopening of the economy.

He urged businesses to logon to the portal, www.lasgsafetyreg.com to register, which would not take more than five minutes and obtain the Safety Compliance Certificate for the reopening of their businesses, offered by the state government free of charge.

Mojola said that business owners should report through the government’s whistleblower numbers, any official that wanted to collect money for the Safety Compliance Certificate.

According to him, over 1,000 businesses have applied for accreditation to reopen and their registrations have been processed.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Lagos Police arrest man kissing minor in viral video

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The Lagos State Police Command has arrested  one Adeyeye Babatunde, ”M” of Kajola St., Shagamu, Ogun State, for kissing his three-year old step sister in a viral video.

The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, in a statement on Friday, said that Babatunde was a Botany student of Lagos State University, Ojo.

“The state Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, directed detectives from the Gender Unit to analyse the video and apprehend the suspect.

“The team got the suspect and he has been handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department, , for diligent prosecution in court.

The CP expresses gratitude to Nigerians who helped in bringing the incident to the notice of the police, and urged everyone to continue to speak out against sexual and gender-based violence,” Elkana said.

He said that for complaints on rape, child abuse or domestic violence, the public should call any of the following numbers.

“08175899289, 09062887858, 09062887856, 09062887849, 09062887841, 09062887870, 08023532283, 09062887864, 09062887861 and 09062887860,” Elkana said.


Edited By: Chinyere Bassey (NAN)

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General news

Make Lagos more natural, greening, Expert urges Govt, corporate bodies

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Prof. Babajide Alo, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has called on Lagos State Government, corporate bodies and individuals to embrace greening as a way of improving the health and wellbeing of the citizenry.

Alo made the call on Friday in Lagos, at a Virtual conference organised by the University of Lagos Green Club to commemorate the World Environment Day 2020 (WED).

He also urged the state government to return and improve on the parks and garden beautification era to provide and make the state more natural and greening.

The topic of the conference was: “Nurturing Nature Between the Town and Gown.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the World Environment Day was observed annually on June 5.

It stresses on the importance of active participation in environment conservation and sustainable living.

The theme was: “Celebrate Biodiversity.”

Alo said that greening has a great impact on the health of citizens and the environment, by reducing the emission of carbon dioxide.

He said biodiversity was important to man as an ecological life support, providing functioning ecosystem that supply oxygen, clean air, water and other ecosystem services.

The expert, however, noted that biodiversity was under threat due to human activities.

“Universities have opened up more to the external world, and have given much attention to the diffusion and economic exploitation of their research.

“There is need to focus more on making the gown assist the town, our communities to conserve nature to protect biodiversity,” he said.

Alo said biodiversity and the ecosystem loss had generated tremendous concern globally, as the extinction of plants and animal species were decreasing earth’s biodiversity, thereby depriving humans of potential resources such as food, medicine and enjoyment of nature.

He identified global trade in wildlife and global shipping as issues affecting and destroying nature and biodiversity.

Alo said with the COVID-19 experience, there was need for action for nature.

“The outbreak and experience of Coronavirus disease has left a significant environmental and health impact in the world.

“The pandemic is teaching us to take biodiversity conservation and protection seriously, and it reminds us that biodiversity degration leads to destruction of Mother Earth and planet gets impacted.

“Hence, this pandemic must, therefore, be teaching us a lesson that it is time to re-build for people and the planet,” he said.

Alo called on the universities to develop systematic environmental and biodiversity data collection for improved management and application.

He said: “Universities can join in the vanguard to reverse the degration; we must encourage all experts in biodiversity.

“We must fund them and make our curricula to have compulsory courses in biodiversity conservation and protection.

“Universities should make our teaching and research at all levels incorporate nature studies, inclusion of studies and text on biodiversity conservation into the national primary and secondary education as stipulated in the 2015 National Implementation document.”


Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Health

COVID-19: Lagos begins home-based treatment of patients in 2 weeks

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The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, says the state home-based treatment for COVID-19 patients will begin in the next two to three weeks.

Abayomi made this known on Friday in Lagos while giving the state’s COVID-19 update.

He said that the strategies for home/community-based management of COVID-19 patients would be defined and start soon.

The commissioner said that the move was to enable the state government to concentrate on patients that were critically sick and to reduce pressure on bed spaces at the isolation facilities.

He maintained that the state would engage stakeholders and enlighten them with relevant information and knowledge about treating infected people in their communities.

According to him, patients that are asymptomatic and those with mild symptoms will qualify for home based treatment, while those with moderate to severe symptoms will be treated at the isolation centres.

The commissioner said the patients that would be managed at home would be monitored through telemedicine.

According to him, they would also be given COVID-19 packs containing medication, thermometer for temperature measurement and tools to check their oxygen level.

Abayomi, however, stressed that if the condition of any home-based patient “takes a turn for the worse, such patients would be quickly transferred to an isolation facility”.

He said that the state has enough volunteers, thus increasing its manpower to ensure the success of the community-based treatment.

On why the state’s fatality rate for COVID-19 had increased, Abayomi said the fatality rate was still low, adding that it was about one per cent of the state’s confirmed cases.

The commissioner disclosed that the state had accredited three private hospitals that met its biosecurity requirements for the management of COVID-19 patients.

He added that one of the hospitals had commenced treatment of patients, while the remaining two would also commence treatment soon.

Abayomi noted that the state had ramped up its testing capacity, and was currently conducting one thousand COVID-19 test daily, with plans to increase the test to two thousands daily soon.

He added that over 22,000 COVID-19 tests had been done in the state since it recorded its index case.

“The more we test suspected cases, the more we find confirmed COVID-19 cases,” the commissioner said.

He, however, urged the public not to be alarmed with its increasing number of daily infections, saying it was proof of the state’s increased testing capacity.

Abayomi appealed to residents to continue to take responsibility by maintaining respiratory
hygiene, physical distancing and wearing of face masks while in public places.


Edited By: Bolaji Buhari/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Environment

World Environment Day: Association urges Lagos govt. to create more parks, gardens

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The Association of Lagos Landscapers on Friday called on the Lagos State Government to create more parks and gardens to actualise the state’s ‘Green Alternative’ drive.

The association made the call in a statement signed by the Publicity Secretary, Mr Olusegun Osadare and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

The association, which is the umbrella body of horticulturists working with the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), made the call to mark the 2020 World Environment Day with the theme: ‘Celebrating Biodiversity’.

An Executive member of the association, Mr Ismail Badejo, said that the association was in total support of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s environmental policies to reduce the effects of climate change.

Badejo said that the association was working hard to ensure greener parks and gardens in the state; while applauding the numerous national and international recognition so far received by the state.

“The goal and aspiration of the group is to achieve greener parks, gardens and sites as it used to be years ago that earned the Lagos State Government various awards both local and international in the area of environment.

“We call and encourage the Ministry of the Environment to play a vital role by ensuring adequate attention is paid to activities of our supervisory agency.

“There is also need for government to ensure that policies that will promote greenish environment and tree planting to reduce the impact of climate change should be encouraged,” he said.

Badejo also urged the government to take the plight of the association’s workers into consideration, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic by paying their outstanding salaries.

He said that the development could hinder the efforts put into work to maintain a greener Lagos, which could lead to negligence by members.

“The same horticulturists that worked with the state years ago are still around working. Our association is trying its best but government needs to motivate us.

“In the last five years, payment of members of the association has not been regular. This often affected our performances,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Vice President of the association, Mr Padonu Amosu had earlier encouraged communities to understand the importance of tree planting and to key into the idea of conserving the environment.

Amosu said that tree planting and keeping of gardens were not only for the rich but explained that there were cheaper and available flowering and gardening options for everybody.

He debunked the myth that flowering and gardening was exclusively for the rich.


Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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