The Lagos State Government on Wednesday terminated the monthly environmental sanitation exercise which hitherto held for three hours on the last Saturday of every month.
The State Government, in a statement by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the decision to cancel the monthly exercise followed a resolution arrived at Wednesday’s Executive Council meeting which approved the need for a robust review of the environmental laws and procedures in the state in order to meet the present day challenges and to promote a clean and healthy environment.
The Government noted that considering the present economic situation in the country, it was no longer appropriate to restrict movement of people for three hours in a mega city like Lagos at a time they should be pursuing commercial and entrepreneurial activities.
According to government, in the last two decades, Lagos has grown exponentially into a mega city with the attendant huge environmental problems associated with managing a population of over twenty million people.
But sadly, the environmental laws, policies and procedures being practiced in the State have not been able to match the phenomenal growth and the dream of a 24-hour economy, hence the need for the reform.
Ayorinde said the State Government was not unaware of a recent Court of Appeal judgment.
According to him, the thrust of the fresh initiatives, among others, is to promote holistic and modern solutions to the unique environmental challenges confronting the State, while encouraging citizens to voluntarily partner with government to achieve the desired goals.
The Statement said: “After a careful consideration, the State Executive Council has therefore resolved that the present economic climate can no longer support the continued lock down of a mega city like Lagos, when the citizens should be free to engage in commercial and entrepreneurial activities that can promote economic growth and prosperity.
“Furthermore, Government will also accelerate the introduction of fresh reforms through the passage of the new harmonized environmental laws that will drive meaningful changes in areas of harmonized billing, waste management, modern Landfill sites, noise pollution, introduction of an Environmental Trust Fund and an Environmental Advisory Council.
“The Government wishes to reiterate its strong commitment to a clean and secure environment for the benefit of its citizens, and will continue to provide the necessary leadership to meet the environmental challenges of a mega city like Lagos. Lagosians and visitors alike are therefore urged to embrace these changes and imbibe a culture of voluntarily maintaining and preserving their environment to create a beautiful and healthy city that we all can be proud of.”
The statement added that the State Government would henceforth be tougher in ensuring expeditious enforcement against contraventions of its policies and regulations and as such, residents should voluntarily comply with the necessary laws and support government in its bid to have a clean and healthy environment.
Meanwhile,Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has redeployed the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade to take over as the Commissioner for Finance.
In a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, the Governor made the decision shortly after the State Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.
Ashade is expected to resume his new portfolio with immediate effect.
Governor Ambode, however, said Ashade would still oversee the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget pending when the State Executive Council would be reshuffled.
It would be recalled that Governor Ambode on Wednesday, October 19, on Wednesday carried out a cabinet reshuffle with the dropping of the Commissioners for Tourism- Mr Folorunsho Folarin-Coker; Finance, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi and Transportation, Dr. Ekundayo Mobereola.
Mr. Ashade was until his appointment by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, a Partner at KPMG Professional Services, one of the big 4 international professional services firm with specialisation in audit, tax and advisory services. With over 16 years of professional experience with KPMG Nigeria and extensive skills in financial services industry, project and quality assurance management and public private partnership, he is surely a round peg in a round hole.
A Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Ashade was born in Badagry on 6th October, 1975. He had his primary education at Anglican Primary School, Ilado, Badagry between 1981 and 86 and proceeded to Iworo Ajido High School, Badagry where he passed the West African School Certificate of Education in 1992 before proceeding to University of Lagos where he graduated with B.Sc (second class upper division) in Biology in 1997.
Ashade joined KPMG (then Arthur Andersen, Nigeria) in March, 1999 and this provided an opportunity for a career change to Accounting. He became chartered in 2004 and was admitted as a partner in KPMG 2013. In 2015, he was appointed a Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria.