By Kazeem Ugbodaga
The Lagos State Government said it has begun crackdown on companies and private individuals who continuously violate the provision of the Greening laws on setbacks and perimeter fences beautification in the state.
General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), Mrs Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola disclosed this on Tuesday at a news conference on activities of the agency to enhance the environment in line with the goal of the Babajide Sanwo-Ou administration, held in Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.
Adebiyi-Abiola said this became necessary in the face of flagrant violation of the Law by Banks, Telecom Companies, Petrol Stations, Shopping Malls, Car Parks as well as private individuals, even after several warnings to that effect.
“It is pertinent to state here that residents and organisations must respect the trees, the parks, the gardens, the railings, the medians, the lawns and all other properties of government.These facilities belong to all of us because they were provided with taxes that you and I pay, we must guard them jealously.
“I want to emphasise here that the Agency has zero tolerance for cutting down of trees anywhere in the state without obtaining required permission from the Agency. Henceforth, the Agency will no longer tolerate such practice and any act of vandalisation of its properties anywhere in the State as it is now adequately poised to sanction erring individuals or organisations that go against the Greening Law as provided for by the Act that established it,” she said.
Adebiyi-Adebisi added that LASPARK had begun constant patrol across the state to curtail fragrant violation of those acts that were damaging to the greening ambition of the state government and ensure total compliance of the greening Law by the people, while calling for support from the public.
On the annual 2019 Tree Planting campaign which comes up July 14, the General Manager said government would ensure that 350,000 trees were planted this year, saying that the theme for this year’s exercise is “Clean and Green is our Perfect Dream”.
She said the event would take place across all 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), including military formations, educational institutions, with both formal and informal sectors playing active roles.
“Eight (8) sites have been designated as ceremonial sites, with Special Guests of honour, including the Governor, the Deputy Governor, the Speaker, the SSG, the Chief Judge, the First Lady, Physically Challenged and NGOs sites,” she said, adding that GOKADA Nigeria Limited would be partnering with government to plant 100,000 tress in the next five years, with 10,000 to be planted this year.
Adebiyi-Abiola also said LASPARK had begun an aggressive tree pruning exercise across the State to forestall the dangers associated with fallen trees due to windstorms during this raining season, while appealing to Lagosians to report overgrown trees and other established trees that might pose danger to lives and properties anywhere across the State as quickly as possible for early intervention by the Agency.
She further disclosed that the number of park users and fun seekers in all the States-owned parks had increased exponentially in the last two years, as the state recorded over 5, 000, 000 fun seekers as well as event planners who had used the parks for various social activities.