- Gives Ultimatum to Religious Centres on External Speakers
From Bola Ogunlayi, Ibadan
Religious centres and social clubs in Oyo State has been given a two-week ultimatum to remove their external speakers or face the wrath of the law, this was borne out of a renewed move by the government to rid the state of noise pollution.
Three Churches have been shut and a total of 600 offenders tried for flagrant contravention of environmental laws in the state.
The State Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, Chief Isaac Ishola, who stated this during the Ministerial Briefing organized by the State Government at the Film Theatre, Ministry of Information Culture and Tourism, Secretariat, Ibadan, disclosed that over 200 industries have been monitored this year for air emissions and effluent discharges with about 12 facilities sanctioned in the areas of sealing up, provision of remediation measures and Community Social Responsibilities.
Chief Ishola, who addressed the press with his counterpart from Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr. Toye Arulogun and Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, explained that there has been series of stakeholder meetings with religious bodies including the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), League of Imams amongst others to demand full compliance.
A significant level of understanding and compliance has been recorded with several stakeholders yet to comply according to the Commissioner.
He pointed out that the permissive level of sound according to the state environmental sanitation laws for industrial areas is 90db (Decibel) with a distance of 2.5meters while 60db and 45db for the day and night at a distance of 5meters for the residents adding that any sound more than the stated ones becomes noise which is detrimental to the health of the people.
Chief Ishola, therefore warned that after the two weeks ultimatum anyone caught would face the wrath of the law, saying that all industrial facilities in Oyo State today are being constantly inspected to monitor and control the impact of their activities in the environment such as Environmental Impact Assessment for new Industrial facilities and Environmental Audit Reports for existing ones.
The Commissioner noted that the government’s enforcement activities has led to about 400 street-trading offenders, 250 improper waste disposal offenders, two poultry farms, four illegal rearing of domestic animals, one Piggery farm and Temidire Plank Market being sanctioned through arraignment in the Court and outright closure.
He said that about 100 members of the Yes-O cadets have been engaged to complement the existing workforce of the Ministry and 2 Mobile Courts have been established, explaining that public health issues such as improper disposal of Solid Waste, Street-Trading, destitute management and Street begging, house to house sanitation inspection are being carried out to maintain clean and healthier environment.
Chief Ishola added “Solid Waste Management is now Private Sector driven involving the engagement of Private Waste Contractors by the Government and each property owner having individual waste bins, paying to the officials of the State Government only. We humbly request for understanding and cooperation. The added value in the chain is the activities to convert the waste to wealth and energy in a well-packaged integrated waste management programme. It has the potential to cause economic boost in Oyo State and generate a number of economic means to at least 2000 people.
“In the area of erosion and Flood Control, this Ministry has been very much active by carrying out activities such as inspection and control of drainage facilities, enforcing observance of building codes, set-backs and dredging of 36 rivers in Ibadan Metropolis.
“This was really helpful to minimize impacts of the flood incident that affected areas such as Orogun/Agbowo Stream, Upper Ona-River (Ajibode), Egberi River (Olodo) Jenriyin Stream (Kute) and back flow into Agodi Lake. However, the Ministry acknowledges the receipt of as many as 40 other requests from communities to extend dredging operations to their areas. The Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project and this Ministry are currently working to effect the requests.
“The Ministry supervises the operations of Water Corporation of Oyo State and Rural Water Supply and sanitation Agency of Oyo state. There are as many as forty (40) dams in Oyo State with potentialities to build more. In addition a number of waterworks are to be constructed in various zones of the State in order to ensure sufficient potable water supply,” he stressed.
Chief Ishola noted that the state will carry out emission tests on Vehicles, Motorcycles and Generators, saying that Motor Cycles will pay N300/Annum, Cars owners are to pay N1,000/ Annum, Buses is N2,000 and N5,000 as the case may be while Articulated Vehicles is N10,000/Annum.