The Lagos state government has assured all residents of the state that the new environmental protection and management law is in their interest.
Steve Ayorinde, commissioner for information and strategy, said this in a statement, saying it is in line with the reforms in the environment sector “to ensure cleaner environment and public health safety in the state”.
Some civil society organisations had told Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, to make public the law which he signed on March 1.
The groups said the inaccessibility of the document from the relevant ministries in the state government, two weeks after it was signed, fuels suspicion that its provisions are anti-people.
But Ayorinde said the law was aimed at charting a new direction in recognition of the fact that water, sanitation and hygiene are non-negotiable requisites.
He said the rapid growth of Lagos, its dream of 24-hour economy and government financial limitations, have made it pertinent to make investor-friendly laws that will attract the desired investment into the sector.
“With the Cleaner Lagos Initiative, the government reassures all and sundry of its determination to clean the environment in our state and we are already taking the necessary steps in that direction,” he said.
“The government is aware of the complaints by well-meaning citizens over delays being experience in the area of waste collection.”
The ministry of the environment, the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and our “sanitation gangs” are on top of the situation and will not give in to the sabotage by those who are opposed to the reforms.
Ayorinde also denied that the government demands levies before boreholes were dug for domestic purposes.
He added that only boreholes dug for commercial purposes require licence or payment and this is not a new practice as it has been in existence since “meaning that if you dig or construct to sell or for industrial use, you need location permit”.
“The position of the law today as provided in sections 253 and 259 of the environmental management and protection law as it relates to construction of borehole or well has not changed from what it used to be,” the statement read.
“First, landlords are free to dig or construct boreholes in their houses without any permit or licence, provided that the regulation on location of such borehole is followed, that is the borehole, or well must not be sited near soak away or septic tank.”
Some civil society organisations (CSOs) had accused the government