The Lagos State Ministry of environment have shut down twenty two religious places of worship, including two facilities belonging to the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) for noise polution as part of he ministry’s clamp-down on anti-social behaviour.
This week, the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (Lasepa) stepped up it’s campaign to end noise pollution by
shutting down the said twenty two facilities, among the facilities sealed were three commercial concerns. The general manager of Lasepa, Mr Ademola Shabi, said that Lagos state decided to take such drastic measures after it undertook inspection of the said facilites and found the facilites contravened the state’s environmental laws.
Mr Ademola added that Mopson Pharmaceuticals and a popular strip club Shakara Bar, were also shut in the eexercise, he said that the strip club would never be reopened again, explaining that all lasepa’s directives to operators to control noise pollution over the past two years were never complied with. Recently, the State government has stepped up its attempts to shut down companies and religious houses whose activities constituted a pollution of the environment.
Mr Ademola Shabi said: “Ogba being a mixed residential and industrial area, should have a decibel not exceeding 55 at night but the noise coming from Shakara is more than 100 decibels. Anyone exposed to 115 decibels of noise for about six hours will automatically go deaf and that is the kind of risk Shakara poses to the area.
“It is because of water pollution that the three of the industries were shut because they are dealing with waste processes. Before you can discharge your effluent into the environment, you must have treated the wastes with effluent treatment plant to a permissible standard that we have in the state.”
Ademola further said that the closure of 22 religious houses brought the number to 55 that had been sanctioned over the last three weeks, thereby expressing concern that churches were fond of going back to their old ways after brief compliance. According to Mr Shabi, churches would begin to pay fines ranging from N50,000 to N100,000 before they are reopened.
According to Mr Shabi, the state’s decision affected Mopson Pharmaceuticals located on Osolo Way, which he said, was shut for defying rules guiding environmental pollution, adding that one of Lasepa’s officials alleged that the company is in the habit of discharging untreated waste water into the environment. he added that for the same reason, Dura Products Industries Nigeria on Sanni Olabode Street, in Abule Egba, owned by a retired air force group captain, was also shut.
On Ayilara Street, Surulere, two churches, the RCCG God Royal Sanctuary and another opposite it, Tower of Praise Ministries International Praise Centre were shut over noise pollution. Also shut were religious centres such as Jesus Our Lord Divine Catholic Prayer Ministry, on Anuoluwapo Street, Ilasamaja, where a prayer session was ongoing at about 11am.
Except for the pastor, all the worshipers were pregnant women, nursing mothers and their children. Local residents had complained over noise pollution and lack of clarity on activities carried out at the centre.