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Lagos Govt. seals property over unwholesome food processing, others

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has sealed a private property after discovering its conversion for unwholesome food processing, repackaging of drugs and juice drinks in the state, just as it warned property owners to desist from letting their facilities for activities that contravene the law.

LASEPA said that the property on Salvation Avenue in Owode-Onirin axis of Ikorodu was discovered to have also served as a location for improper destruction of expired drugs, chemicals, recycling of metals as well as dismantling of electrical and electronics in the state.

Briefing newsmen after the enforcement exercise at the LASEPA headquarters in Ikeja, the General Manager of the agency, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, hinted that the property was sited behind a two-storey building in Ikorodu.

Fasawe, who condemned the actions ongoing within the premises, added that the agency received an anonymous call from concerned residents about the unfriendly environmental activities taking place at the location.

She said:” Our team, on the first visit were refused entry and could not access the property due to strong resistance from the security guards who claimed the premise was private property and unavailability of occupants at the time of visit. Our conducts are guided by world best practices and thus, posted an abatement notice, to invite the property owner or concerned person and which was flagrantly ignored.

“We however discovered during our second visit, that the building which sits atop expanse four plots of land with an invalid address, housed an illegal scrap yard that engages in nefarious activities such as storage of unwholesome processed foods, repackaging of drugs and juice drinks, improper destruction of expired drugs, chemicals, recycling of metals as well as dismantling of electrical and electronics waste within the premise.

“It’s worrisome to note that people operate unlawfully in a residential environment unchallenged by neighbours. Individual selfish interests must not be allowed to supersede communal benefits. We must be mindful of who we are allowing into our neighbourhood and the consequences of our actions on society “.

She added that it was pertinent to note that all expired drugs, chemicals as well as e-waste materials must be treated and recycled in a sustainable environment before disposal into the environment.

The environmental protection agency boss, meanwhile, appealed to residents to partner LASEPA and other agencies in the protection of the earth particularly from man-made disasters, saying report all unlawful conducts to the authority for timely intervention.

According to her, the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law of 2017. Section VI, sub-sections 181, 182,183 185 prohibit individuals or groups from discharging into the environment any untreated waste or chemical substances listed in any Federal and State law in force, except by regulations made under this law and Federal law.

The LASEPA boss added that the law empowers the agency to use the provision of the law on flagrant polluters, even as she enjoined all e-waste recycling operators to ensure they are register and accredited by her agency as there would be no hidden place for illegal operators in the state. Investigation ongoing as samples taken have been submitted at a laboratory for analysis.

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