The Lagos State government has arrested about 30 environmental offenders for improper waste disposal and disregarding the state’s environmental laws.
They will be arraigned before a magistrate’s court on Monday.
The environmental law enforcement team comprises officers from the Lagos Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC), also known as KAI.
The offenders, apprehended in different locations, were said to be engaged in acts capable of defacing the environment and derailing efforts to entrench cleanliness in the metropolis.
According to Tokunbo Wahab, the Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, the arrest and subsequent prosecution of people engaged in indiscriminate waste disposal shows that it is no longer business as usual.
“The state government will not fold its hands and watch some elements derail efforts to maintain sanity in the city.
“Today’s action will serve as a deterrent and warning to others.
“The era of people hiding under the guise of darkness to dump waste at unauthorised locations is over; anyone caught will be prosecuted,” he told journalists.
He appealed to residents to acquire waste bins and regularly clean up their surroundings as the government plans to commence full environmental checks on homes and business premises.
The official reminded residents of their legal obligation towards a sustainable environment, which included acquiring covered waste bins, shunning reckless waste disposal and mandatory patronage of assigned private operators.
“Everyone must procure bins, engage with assigned private participants, refrain from indiscriminate waste disposal, maintain drains and clean the frontage of their establishments,” Mr Wahab said.
LAWMA managing director Muyiwa Gbadegesin, on his part, urged households to imbibe the habit of sorting their wastes at source.
“We are appealing to residents to avoid indiscriminate dumping of wastes in public spaces as it poses significant health and environmental hazards. Violators of environmental laws will face severe legal consequences,” Mr Gbadegesin said.