The General Manager, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency, Mrs. Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola has restated the resolution of the State Government to enforce total compliance with the Greening Law across the State.
Addressing the media while the Agency carried out enforcement operations at Ikeja, Oniru in Victoria Island, Lekki Phase 1 and Ikoyi environs, the General Manager declared that the pronounced disregard for greening requirements by private establishments and other property owners across the State is repressing government’s efforts to mitigate the negative effects of climate change.
“Our resolve to enforce the law against recalcitrant corporate institutions and property owners who have refused to comply with the State’s provision on beautification of setbacks is in line with government’s quest to improve the green covers in the State”, she added.
While bemoaning the flagrant defiance towards the law by property owners and commercial establishments, the General Manager restated that the Act that compelled them will fully be applied henceforth.
She emphasised that, “According to Section 19 of the Law establishing LASPARK, all tenement owners and occupiers shall landscape and beautify the perimeter areas of their properties, the neglect, failure and refusal of which shall warrant the penalty of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N250, 000.00) or such sums as the State shall incur in doing same on behalf of the tenement, or six (6) months imprisonment or other non-custodial sentence”.
She also noted that owners of commercial property will be compelled to conform to the stated provision, as she called on owners of petrol stations not to contravene the status of approval granted by the Ministry of Physical Planning which stipulates that 20% of their property be reserved for greening.
“It is disturbing that owners of Petrol Stations particularly the new entrants have imbibed the act of concretising their entire surroundings, neglecting the provision of the law which specifically states that a certain percentage of their space must be reserved for greening”, the LASPARK Boss stated.
Adebiyi-Abiola said LASPARK is now poised to begin the prosecution of erring owners of these petrol stations and other commercial property according to the law, unless they show a desire to abide by the State’s provision, asserting that the government through constant public education, enlightenment and advocacy has ensured that business enterprises and Lagosians appreciate the essence of greening.
She affirmed that LASPARK has served abatement notices to some defaulters across the State, urging them to promptly come forward to resolve issues with the Agency before it enforces a total crackdown on their property as the enforcement team continues monitoring any breach of the law Statewide.
“We have commenced total clampdown on defaulters of greening regulations across the State. Just last month, a building at Alexander in Ikoyi was sealed off for cutting down trees without the Agency’s permission. We urge those who have been served an abatement notice to come forward and engage the Agency for necessary action”, she said.
Speaking further, Adebiyi-Abiola affirmed that the enforcement is a continuous exercise geared towards achieving appreciable conformity and also constrain prospective property owners anywhere in the State to earmark appropriate portion for greening.
While advocating for private sector participation in the drive towards the attainment of green society, the General Manager urged owners of residential apartments to comply with the directive to avoid enforcement action.