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Lagos Assembly set to review environmental law, others

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday, November 1, 2018 began a three-day retreat to review the state’s Environmental Law and nine others to meet global best practices.

Mudashiru Obasa
Mr Mudashiru Obasa, Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the retreat, holding in Abeokuta, Ogun State, is aimed at revisiting the state laws to enhance their operational capacity for development.

Declaring the workshop open, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa said the House was committed to moving the state forward with realistic laws.

“For us to move Lagos State forward, there is the need for us to put in place laws that are enduring and in conformity to the interest of those who put us here.

“We must restructure them (selected laws) and introduce new laws where applicable. We need laws that can satisfy the interest of our constituents.

“In our parliamentary business, we need to pick laws that we have passed and see areas we need to tinker with so that we continue to do what we were elected for,” he said.

Obasa said that Lagos had a good environmental law in place.

“The fact that we have problems with the implementation of the law does not mean that the law is not good.

“We are here because people raised eyebrows over some aspects, and we want to see how we can amend them.

“We have brought in people, who have served as commissioners, as insiders, to tell us what is wrong with the laws and what we need to do.

“We will continue to review our laws. It is by going through them regularly that we will prepare our state for a better law. Even if a law was passed yesterday, we can come around to review it today,” the speaker said.

On the contention between the House and the executive arm over the engagement and activities of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Ltd. for waste collection, Obasa said the company was incapable.

The speaker said that there was nothing like Visionscape in the new Environmental Law of the state.

He, however, said there were sections of the law that gave an opportunity to the executive arm to have private/public partnership.

According to him, in such an instance, the executive arm should revert to the House for approval.

This, he said, was not done by the current executive.

“We have said on the floor that no money of the state must be paid to Visionscape.

“I repeated it recently because the company is not known to us, and we are not aware of it,” he added.

NAN reports that the Assembly recently directed the 57 LGAs and LCDAs to engage the PSP operators for refuse clearing in the state.

Also speaking, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, the Majority Leader of the House, said that the Assembly passed laws and monitored them to meet the demands of the changing society.

Agunbiade said that the need to make the state’s law stronger and functional necessitated the retreat.

According to him, no law in the state has failed but there are some circumstances that require review of laws to enhance their operational capacity.

Also, Mr Tunde Briamoh, Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Public Petitions, Human Rights and Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, said that laws were dynamic and required reviews for good governance.

Briamoh said the retreat was to make Lagos State laws to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

Earlier, Mr Azeez Sanni, the Clerk of House, said that the review of the 10 laws was aimed at progressive transformation of the state.

NAN reports that one of the laws to be reviewed is Law to Consolidate all laws relating to the Environment for the Management, Protection and Sustainable Development of the Environment in the state and for connected purposes.

Others include: Public/Private Partnership Law, Urban and Regional Planning Law, Model City Law, Public Procurement Agency Law, Transport Law, Neighbourhood Safety Agency Law, and Environmental Law (Waste Management).

By Yemi Adeleye

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