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Lagos Govt. arrests 1,866 environmental laws defaulters

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Government through its Environmental Sanitation Corps (LAGESC) popularly known as KAI, arrested 1,886 illegal traders, street traders, highway crossing defaulters, environmental polluters and cart pushers within the last one year across the state.

It added that all those arrested by the agency have been prosecuted in accordance with the sanitation laws of the state.

The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tokunbo Wahab, disclosed this during at the Y2024 Ministerial press briefing in Ikeja, yesterday.

The Commissioner while rendering account of his stewardship as the supervising Commissioner of all Agencies charged to exhaust the larger mandate of the Ministry reeled out the scorecard of high points recorded in past year, with KAI being also singled out for praise in environmental enforcement as part of its mandate which is geared towards promoting a cleaner and healthier environment in the State

According to him, “The Agency arrested a total of 1,886 people comprising illegal traders, street Traders, environmental polluters and cart pushers who were prosecuted according to the 2017 Lagos State Environmental Protection Management Law. The Agency also ensured that perishable food items and goods confiscated during its several enforcement raids were donated to orphanages, motherless homes and the needy as prescribed by the law. The environmental enforcement agency of the Ministry known as KAI has been in operation to compliment the functions of other agencies in Environment by ensuring adherence to the laws on sanitation”.

On the recent strides recorded with regards to removal of infractions on pedestrian bridges and mass arrests of environmental defaulters, since the new leadership of the Agency assumed office following their appointments by Mr. Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu early in the year, the Commissioner extoled the virtues of Corps Marshal, Major Olaniyi Olatunbosun Cole (retd) by revealing, “Following the enforcement of the use of pedestrian bridges 1,032 persons were arrested for crossing the highway and failure to use pedestrian bridges, 165 miscreants and squatters on pedestrian bridges were also dislodge and the bridges cleaned up.

“The Agency in collaboration with the Lagos State Taskforce embarked on the dislodgement of traders displaying their wares for sale on the walkways, lay-bys, and government setbacks and the removal of all major infractions at Orile and Abule-Egba axis of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway while sanity is regularly sustained by men of the Agency in other locations such as Oshodi , Ikorodu and other areas of the state.”

Highlighting the necessities of inter-agency cooperation towards activating the environmental mandate of Mr. Governor in making Lagos habitable for all, the Commissioner also revealed that the Agency in conjunction with the Special Task force effected the clearing of the rail tracks and the demolition of more than 500 shanties and illegal structures occupying Apongbon Under bridge, Lekki, Victoria Island, Agege, Obalende and the axis of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.

Wahab finally highlighted the drastic reduction in street hawking recorded across major highways while clearing of environmental nuisance as well as sustenance has been a continuous process at various Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) Parks making transportation easy for the citizenry, “The KAI /LAGESC operatives in conjunction with the State Task Force on Special Offences also cleared the Ijora Causeway underbridge, Apongbon Underbridge, Obalende Underbridge which have become abode to undesirable elements who posed security risk to the state and the clearing of Lagos Coastal Road at Maiyegun Estate, Jakande preparatory to the commencement of the construction of the Lagos Calabar Coastal road”.

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