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Thursday, 10 December 2015

Lagos shuts 53 churches, mosques

Lagos shuts 53 churches, mosques

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode

The Lagos State Government has shut down no fewer than 53 churches, mosques and hotels across the state over noise pollution and other environmental offences.

Some of the sealed worship centres were accused of converting residential apartments to places of worship, which according to the government has been constituting nuisance to other residents.

The General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, Adebola Shabi, after the exercise, said the agency had been inundated with complaints from residents and neighbours of the shut facilities.

He said, “In recent times, most of the petitions kept coming to us. It was as if we are not working at all. That was why we shut the facilities.”

Shabi explained that some of the affected facilities had been served abatement notices before the eventual closure, adding that the growing rate of establishment of worship centres called for serious regulations, especially in the areas of noise generated across the state.

He said some of the noise-making worship centres were usually makeshift structures.

Shabi said, “You cannot have makeshift structures and say you want to be conducting services or vigils there. Definitely, you will be disturbing your neighbours. So, the government won’t allow the use of makeshift structures as a church or mosque.

“Nobody is allowed to make a noise above 55 decibel during the day in residential areas and only 45 decibel is allowed in such areas at night. In industrial areas, 90 decibel of noise level is allowed during the day, while the noise rate must not exceed 80 decibel at night.”

He, however, observed that the compliance level was increasing, saying more residents had understood the effect of noise polution, while some religious houses had complied with the noise pollution regulations.

The LASEPA boss explained that the hotels were shut for failing to conduct and submit Environmental Impact Assessment report.

Shabi added that the state government would not condone improper disposal of sewage, saying the usage of old latrines was unacceptable.

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