5th July, 2010
The Lagos State Government has banned churches in the state from usingÂ loud speakers outside the churches during their services as a result of the noise pollution they caused.
Government hinged its decision to ban use of outside speakers in order to reduce noise pollution and its attendant health hazards on the populace.
Special Assistant to the Governor on Christian Religious Matters, Rev. Sam Ogedengbe directed all religious leaders to ensure the removal of all speakers mounted outside the main auditorium of their religious houses.
At a meeting with religious leaders in the state, Ogedengbe stated that it was imperative for churches to comply with the directives to reduce the noise decibel after going through the heap of complaints received from the public over the consistent and unbearable noise generation by different religious centres throughout the state.
The Special Adviser condemned the deliberate spread of falsehood by some elements who said that the government was planning a clampdown on churches and mosques, saying this was far from the truth as government had always chosen the path of dialogue in its dealings with the people of the state.
â€œThis session would enable various religious leaders contribute to the new measures to be adopted by the government to stem the volume of noise created by religious houses,â€ he said.
According to him, the state government had concluded plans to make sure that noise pollution in Lagos is regulated in the interest ofÂ public health.
â€œSome people ignorantly say there is no law against noise pollution and as such they could go all out to generate noise for attention. This is not true as there are enough rules in the books to deal with noise pollution. Apart from the rules, there is the need to create harmonious existence with their neighbours by considering their interests in all their programmes.
â€œThe absence of this will create unnecessary tension which may be exploited by unscrupulous people to create religious unrest in the state,â€ he said while advising religious leaders to use sound proof materials in buildings to reduce the impact of noise in the neighbourhood.
â€œSometimes we receive up to 50 complaints in a day across the state; in fact there was an instance when we got a complaint from a community where there were 17 churches and three mosques on a close. This is one of the reasons where government had to intervene to avert social unrest,â€ he said.
Ogedengbe said some religious centres had flouted abatement notices served on them to address environmental and physical planning issues brought against them.
He cited the building of religious homes in residential areas as against the original Town Planning as well as the wrong timing and high frequency of vigil as some of the environmental problems facing the state.