Lagos to redevelop abandoned road setbacks and others – Ambode
… Acknowledges improvement in Lagos greenery drive
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has promised to redevelop and restore all abandoned areas, road setbacks and verges across the State, just as he called on the general public to join hands with the State Government in its sustainable greenery effort geared towards enhancing the environment and aesthetics of the State metropolis for the benefit of all.
Ambode who attributed the significant improvement in the Lagos ‘Greenery’ drive to government intervention and the quest for infrastructural development, added that more attention would henceforth be on sustainable development with minimal impact on the environment.
The Governor, represented by the Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Babatunde Hunpe spoke at the graduation of 514 newly trained Assistant Horticulturists also known as “Green Hands” on Tuesday, at Alausa, Ikeja.
The Governor recalled the unpolluted and natural environment of Lagos in the early ‘60s, stressing that the responsibility of protecting and preserving the environment should be seen as a collective responsibility and supported by all.
“The Lagos of the early ‘60s was aesthetically appealing, pollution-free and with many tourist centres. It was a city of gardens, race courses and parks known for diverse species of exotic flower shows and many other related competitions,’ Ambode stated.
While saying that the 514 Green Hands have all acquired the necessary skills to do well in the greening programme, Ambode enjoined the Green Hands to put their skills to good use and complement the efforts of the State Government in building a lasting, greener, safer and healthier environment.
‘I am sure that all these programmes aligned towards the upgrade of the city’s parks and gardens will continue to foster a greener and healthier Lagos not only to combat climate change but to make our Mega City beautiful’ ’ Ambode added.
The Governor said that he has directed that the parks and cemeteries unit be rejuvenated in all the 20Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas to replicate the functions of Lagos State Parks and Gardens (LASPARK) at the local level with focus on cemetery management and beautification programmes.
He however, implored every resident of the State to play their parts in ensuring a green Lagos by planting trees at homes, communities, offices and religious houses and discourage indiscriminate tree felling.
Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare in his welcome address said that the restoration of greenery in all prime areas across the State would further complement the ‘Light Up Lagos’ project already embarked upon by the present administration in bringing out the beauty of the State’s landscape both during the day and at night.
Dr. Adejare who spoke through the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Engr. Saliu Abidemi Adeyemi maintained that there is on-going aggressive landscaping and greening of open spaces, loops and roundabout, as well as open spaces across the State, adding that the State government presently has over three hundred beautiful sites.
The Commissioner outlined areas already reclaimed to include Capitol Road, Agege, with concrete planters, Alaguntan triangular lay by, Alimosho, Alagba Roundabout, Iyana Ipaja, Ashabi Cole Street, CBD, Ikeja, Airport Road Median, Apakun setback, Oshodi among many others.
Adejare used the occasion to restate the position of the State Government on illegal activities on the State gardens and parks including road medians.
He said that “we will no longer condone all acts of indiscriminate tree felling and pruning without LASPARK approval as well as any form of damage to parks and gardens infrastructure anywhere within the State.”
Also, the General Manager LASPARK, Mrs. Abimbola Jijoho-Ogun said that the graduation of the 514 Green Hands today is a testimony of the State Government’s commitment to sustainable environment.
Jijoho-Ogun added that with the complementary roles of the newly trained horticulturists, the beauty of Lagos would become more visible to every resident of the State and the environment would also be protected from degradation.