As part of efforts to sanitize the nation’s port environment, the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Lagos State Government is currently demolishing all unapproved shops, kiosks and hangouts in the Apapa port environs.
A joint team comprising; officials from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Lagos State Environment Sanitization Corps, Lagos State Task Force Monitoring and Enforcement, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), and the Nigeria Police stormed the port environment by 9am to carryout a total demoliton.
As the kiosks were destroyed, the remains from the structures were conveyed into LAWMA trucks to be discarded as waste, while the operators of the small businesses were seen mourning their losses from a distance.
Speaking to MMS Plus newspaper at the ocassion, Mr. Babarunde Hunpe, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, said that the operation was a strategic effort to sanitize the port environment in line with the recent World Environment Day celebration which was observed on Tuesday, June 5th, last week.
Mr Babatunde commended the massive participation of all state government agencies as well as the Federal Ministry of Environment in the exercise, even as he expressed confidence that the government would sustain the sanitization effort.
“I am excited that the full team of Lagos environment agencies are here as well as the officials from the Federal Ministry of Environment. We are going to sustain this effort and we want to commend the President, Mohammadu Buhari and the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode for this initiative to have clean environment at the ports. The port environment should be clean and safe. We want everyone to live in good health.” he said.
While he observed that the sanitization exercise had been long overdue, he stressed that the joint-task team wouldn’t relent until it ensured the glorious days of sanity in Apapa port environ was restored.
Meanwhile, an observer Mrs. Shola Fadeyi commended the efforts of the enforcement team even as she admonished them to ensure the environment doesn’t return to the previous haphazard debris-littered state in the near future.
Shola who has her office in the Eleganza complex said; “I thank God that the government has risen to the ocassion to purge Apapa of this environmental menace. This section which has been demolished wasn’t just a hangout for thugs, someone was selling marijuana right there. It has also become the home of pick-pockets”
She revealed that some government officials had visited the area several times in the past to warn the inhabitants to leave the area but the business owners always believed they could address the issue by giving bribes.
On her part, a woman whose kiosk was destroyed lamented that she had no other business to resort to as she couldn’t afford the exorbitant cost of renting a shop in Apapa.
The victim who only disclosed her name as “Iya Ayo” rained curses on the Federal and State Governments.