31st August, 2021
The Lagos State Government on Monday arrested 24 people engaging in reclamation of a wetland at Mosafejo Mowo in Badagry area of the state.
It also sealed the premises of a private developer company (name withheld) that was constructing on the wetland.
According to a statement from the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the raid by security agents and officials from the department of Conservation and Ecology followed the non-compliance of the company with several stop-work notices served on them.
The statement added that officials of the Ministry observed the series of encroachment during routine monitoring of wetland in the State and on the 1st of March, 2021 a stop work order was served on the company followed by a renewal on two different occasions.
“A Stop-Work order dated 29th June 2021 was issued and served, but due to the failure of the company to present required approved documents and its refusal to stop work at the site, another Stop-Work order was served on 8th April, 2021 and this was followed with messages forwarded to the representatives of the company” the statement reads.
The statement, however, noted that the company responded to the second Stop-Work order on the 5 July, 2021 by forwarding a survey plan claiming that the survey plan did not indicate that the site was a wetland, explaining that the land was bought from a third party and that the tittle document was still being processed.
“Without obtaining the wetland clearance approval, Environmental Impact Assessment (E.I.A), and Drainage clearance approval, the activities at the site is in contravention of the Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017 of Lagos State and National Environmental Impact Assessment Cap E12 LFN 2004”, the statement emphasised.
The government decried the alarming rate of wetlands loss in the State, calling for an urgent halt of the indiscriminate destruction of natural habitats, induced by unregulated human activities.
“It had become necessary for all stakeholders to join hands for the protection of wetlands in Lagos State, considering the key roles played by wetlands in sustaining the environment”.
The arrested people have been handed over to security agents and will be arraigned after due investigations.