Lagos parks agency to enforce beautification of setbacks

The Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) will enforce its law against recalcitrant corporate organisations and property owners that have refused to beautify the setbacks around their premises.

Mr Abdullateef Olajide, Head of Public Relations unit of the agency, stated this in a press statement he made available to newsmen last week.

Olajide said that the press statement was signed by Mrs Bilikisu Adebiyi-Abiola, General Manager of the agency.

Adebiyi-Abiola said that it had become imperative to ensure total compliance with the state’s greening law in order to appreciate the value of the environment.

She said, “According to Section 19 of the Law establishing LASPARK, all tenement owners and occupiers shall landscape and beautify the perimeter areas of their properties.

“Failure and refusal of which shall warrant the penalty of N250, 000 or such sums as the state shall incur in doing same on behalf of the tenement, or six months imprisonment or other noncustodial sentence.”

Adebiyi-Abiola said that the Agency’s resolve was to curtail the pronounced negligence of the greening requirement by private establishments and other property owners across the state.

She said this was frustrating government’s efforts to ward off the negative effects of climate change in the state.

According to her, commercial property owners with setbacks will be vigorously compelled to do the needful and the agency will be locking up premises for non-compliance.

She advised owners of petrol stations to adhere strictly to the approval received from the Ministry of Physical Planning which stipulated that 20 percent of their properties be reserved for greening.

“We have noted with dismay the attitude of owners of petrol stations, especially,  the new entrants who have made it a habit of concretising their entire domain while neglecting the provisions of the law.

“The law specifically states that a certain percentage of their space must be reserved for greening,” she said.

Adebiyi-Abiola emphasised that LASPARK was more determined than ever to prosecute owners of such petrol stations.

She added that other commercial properties would also be prosecuted in accordance with the law unless they showed  a desire to abide by the state’s provision.

She also urged owners of residential apartments to comply with this directive.

She said that the agency would soon begin a massive enforcement action against non-compliance in residential buildings.

“The agency has been lenient with defaulters to allow for voluntary compliance.

“The Parks and Gardens Law was enacted not to hunt any institution or individual but to make the environment more beautiful and healthier for the citizenry.”

She said that the state government had done much on public education, enlightenment and advocacy to ensure that business enterprises and Lagosians appreciate the provision of the law.

She advised interested companies to contact the agency for necessary design arrangement in beautifying their setbacks and other necessary areas.

She said that nothing would be left undone to salvage the environment and make Lagos a greener and healthier state to live in.