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Friday, 13 November 2015
Environmental sustainability, top priority of Lagos govt Says Adejare
The Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Dr. Samuel Adejare, yesterday, affirmed that the regeneration of the environment and its sustainability has been the major concern to successive administrations in the state since 1999.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos, to announce a maiden Stakeholders Forum with private sectors, on the greening initiative of the state government, billed for Tuesday, November 17, 2015, at the Muson centre, Onikan, Lagos, Adejare said the forum themed: “Sustaining Our Green Lagos,” anchored by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), is imperative because the state government recognizes the tremendous role of the private sector actors in complementing efforts of government in sustaining a greener Lagos.
He said: “Lagos over time was known for its beauty of greenery and parks. Lagos earned the appellation ‘Eko for Show’ due to various local and national flower competitions. But the advent of oil boom of the 70s gave way for bridges and concrete, leaving little or no consideration for the greening.
“However, as a responsive government, the past administration of Lagos State since the creation of the Ministry of Environment in 1979, by Alhaji Lateef Jakande, made environmental sustainability a top priority of the state government.”
The Commissioner, who canvassed for stakeholders’ support in protecting the environmental landscape of Lagos, however disclosed that “the Lagos State government has in the last eight years created 300 parks and gardens, with 73 of them being managed and maintained by private concern. Over six million trees have been planted, 5, 500 trees pruned, two functional nurseries established, with over 96, 000 jobs created. Also, over 200, 000 fun seekers have visited our parks to recreate among other activities.”
He added that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration will next year, commence the establishment of a Metropolitan Park at Ayeteju in Ibeju-Lekki area of the state, on a 5 hectare land.
“The proposed recreational park will serve the people of Lekki, Ajah, Ibeju, Epe and its environs. We will need the private sector to be part of this project which will be similar to the Central park in New York, United State. The stakeholders’ forum, is therefore, specially designed to promote the synergy that will be beneficiary to all, in the short run and long run.
“Governor Ambode will also be on hand to highlight the benefits accruable to all stakeholders. We believe firmly that the private sector can key into all these as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and also benefit immensely from it.
“The focus of the forum will be on the following: Lagos Greening in Reminiscence; Stakeholders’ involvement and engagement in urban greening initiatives; Adopting and maintaining green infrastructure: Benefits to the stakeholders; Challenges and the way forward in environmental regeneration; and Funding as a catalyst to a greener environment.
“As Lagos continues to grow and expand with its attendant pressure on the environment, it is expedient that we make efforts to improve the city and make it healthier for people through sustainable green infrastructure,” said the commissioner.