Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, has warned churches and mosques in the state against noise pollution.
He asked religious bodies in the habit of mounting speakers outside worship centres in residential areas to desist from doing so.
Bello gave the warning in Lagos on Thursday during a press conference to render account of stewardship of his ministry in the last one year.
He said the government would no longer tolerate the proliferation of churches in the metropolis.
He said it was unlawful for religious bodies to convert residential buildings to worship centres without the necessary approval from the government.
He said defaulters would risk their premises being shut.
The commissioner said the government had written to the leadership of the religious bodies to caution their members, adding that a series of complaints from the public on the environmental nuisance of some of them had been received by the government.
He gave an example of a street in Agege, where about eight churches and four mosques are sited, adding that most of them are actually illegal because they operated without approvals.
Bello said, “We all worship God, but some are doing it excessively and I believe it’s unreligious. A religious man should not do such. We have received a lot of cases, and we don’t want to be seen to be working against religious organisations or be shutting down churches and mosques.
“We have told religious bodies that enough is enough and we would go all out to enforce our laws. We are giving this warning so that when action is being taken, no one will feel they are being victimised.”
He also blamed the Federal Government for the delay in Apapa regeneration plan, saying they only promised but until now had not fulfilled that promise.
Bello said, “Last year, the government came and promised to collaborate with us. Our task force was mobilised; unfortunately, the FG only gave its word; we spent our own money, did all the clearing and cleaned the place.
“Those places are still cleared; we have started landscaping. When we cleared, we had a committee with the FG and we said we would look at areas where we can collaborate to ensure the trailers do not park indiscriminately and cause traffic to other road users, so we were able to work together and we agreed on time when they should move.”
He also sounded a note of warning to residents to be alert as the state had been predicted to witness heavy rainfall in the year.
Bello said the state would experience rainy season of between 249 and 275 days with intermitent stoppage in February and August.
“The magnitude of Lagos seasonal rainfall prediction for this year is that the state will experience heavy rainfall with serious intensity just like last year. Heavy thunderstorm is also predicted to occur during the rainy period of June, July, August, September and October,” he added.
Bello said the ongoing construction of 96 units’ two-bedroom flats and 46 units of one-bedroom flat for flood victims at Ibeshe would soon be completed and handed over to the beneficiaries.