Oyo govt, traders agree on stiffer punishment for defaulters of environmental laws

Dr Wasiu Olatunbosun Addressing the stakeholders

Gbenro Adesina/Ibadan

In a bid to make Oyo, particularly, Ibadan, the capital clean, the residents on Tuesday agreed on imposition of stiffer sanctions against defaulters of the state’s environmental laws.

This resolution was arrived at during a consultative meeting organised by Oyo State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources in conjunction with Oyo State Waste Management Authority and the state’s task force on environmental sanitation.

The Forum was aimed at sensitising market men and women in the state on government’s efforts to put an end to filthiness of markets in the state.

Among the stakeholders in attendance were the state emergency committee, civil society groups, market leaders and traders.

Speaking at the forum, the Commissioner in charge of Environment and Natural Resources, Rt. Hon. Kehinde Ayoola revealed that the state government is strengthening its environment laws, arguing that market places in the state are an eyesore, due to the wastes generated from the markets.

Pointing out that government could not underestimate the importance of markets in the state, he sought for their cooperation in making Ibadan clean.

Ayoola, who revealed the government’s concerted efforts to evacuate refuse at the 62 markets in the capital, hinted that environmental law offenders would henceforth be prosecuted regardless of their affiliation.

He emphasized, “Depending on the weight of the offence, offenders caught would now face mobile Courts, after being caught or pay heavy fine for their offences”, adding, Henceforth, disposing waste at the median or disregarding designated disposal points in the state is an unpardonable offence”.

Ayoola further revealed that the state government is overhauling the four dumpsites in the state located in Lapite, Ajakanga, Aba- eku and Awotan, in Akinyele, Oluyole, Ona- ara and Ido Local Government Areas respectively, as this would enable Private Sector Participation operators effectively evacuate refuse at market places.

In his words, the Chairman Environmental sanitation Task force and Executive Assistant to the Governor on Security, Mr. Fatai Owoseni said the state government would make the enforcement all inclusive.

He, therefore, hinted the stakeholders about the establishment of Environmental Marshals amongst market men and women, who would police offenders and reprimand them.

He also said the state government would leave no stone unturned at ensuring Oyo State is a better and healthier place for all its inhabitants.