Monday, May 18, 2009
By Akinpelu Dada
Property owners whose structures are on major highways in Lagos State are now required to put them in good shape by regularly applying coats of paints on them in order to complement the government‘s environmental beautification programme.
By way of courtesy, the government, through the Ministry of the Environment, has written letters of appeal to the owners of structures, which exteriors are considered not to be in ideal states to give them a facelift.
Speaking at a press conference on the second year anniversary of the Governor Babatunde Fashola‘s administration on Wednesday, the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire, said that the government decided to take this action because of its belief in persuasion and collaboration with members of the public to achieve maximum goals with minimal enforcement.
He said that sections 1, 5, 6, 34 and 36 of the Certificate of Occupancy had placed the responsibility of maintaining both the interior and exterior of properties on the owners, noting that it had expressly implied and consented to and had to be carried out for such property owners to continue to enjoy the right of ownership.
The painting exercise, according to him, had commenced and it is expected that significant change will be noticed in the next 90 days when the first set of notices would have expired.
Speaking on the ministry‘s efforts to encourage the turning of wastes into useful products, Banire said that the suitability of the compost being produced by Earthcare Nigeria Limited at the Odogunyan, Ikorodu waste-to-wealth facility had been confirmed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives after composition analysis by a research institute, noting that the product was now being aggressively marketed to farmers and contractors handling beautification projects across the state.
To facilitate the establishment of more waste-to-wealth plants, Banire said that a standing technical committee comprising representatives of the ministries of Environment, Works and Infrastructure, Economic Planning and Budget, Agriculture and Cooperatives and the New Towns Development Authority, Office of the Surveyor-General, Lagos Waste Management Authority and Lands Bureau had been inaugurated.
The commissioner said that the committee had concluded the appraisal of about 67 proposals and invited 38 proponents of waste-to-wealth plants for technical presentation, noting that the recommendations of the committee to process agreements with four companies and sign Memorandum of Understanding with eight companies, three out of which should be allocated land for the proposed projects had been approved.