The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency has stopped the operations of two iron and steel manufacturing companies in Ikorodu over alleged environmental laws violation.
The General Manager of LASEPA, Dr Adedolapo Fasawe, gave the order on Monday when he led its enforcement team to Sunflag Steel and Top Steel manufacturing companies, both in Ikorodu.
The assessment visit to the companies was undertaken following public complaints and surveillance carried out on their activities.
A statement by LASEPA spokesperson, Bola Ajao, said that Fasawe decried the unsafe working environment as workers were conducting their duties with minimal risk control.
He said the working environment not only put the workers lives at risk, it also made its surrounding communities and the state unsafe.
Fasawe, a seasoned public and mental health expert, further described the situation as “grave”, saying it had negative effects on the immediate and long-term well-being of those working and living around.
He said the environmental monitoring data and surveillance carried out by the agency revealed that most activities going on in Ikorodu industrial area did not comply with Lagos State environmental standards.
The general manager said it did not also comply with international best practices vis-à-vis industrial waste management and circularity.
He said that the most vulnerable population – children, elderly, infirmed – were worse affected by the gross misuse of the shared environment of Lagos State.
“There are environmentally friendly ways to carry out recycling activities; Lagos State is promoting and encouraging a shift from linear to circular economy.
”The government encourages recycling, but not at the expense of our peoples’ lives and the environment.
“Many machines being used here for recycling are archaic, poorly maintained, not fit for purpose under current and future environmental standards.
“They release large quantities of noxious gases, fumes and other hazardous substances which are direct result of prioritising profit over the planet and people,” he said.
Fasawe said that government would continue to do everything within its power to ensure that the quality of air and all environmental media (land, soil, flora, fauna) were not negatively impacted by industrial activities.
She said that the state government in partnership with the World Bank, sited six pilot Air Quality Monitoring Stations located in Akoka, Jankara-Island, Ipaja, Ikeja, Lekki and Ikorodu.
According to her, these monitoring stations will track all vital air quality indices as well as provide data on distribution and flow of pollution events from source to receptors.
“Historical and real-time measurements from the pilot Air Quality Monitoring Station in Ikorodu has repeatedly shown high levels of various by-products of iron recycling operations in the air around Ikorodu and as far as Lagos Island.
“These standardised air quality measurements is backed by the best in meteorological science.
”It has greatly assisted LASEPA identify pollution by source, type/components, and potential for realistic dispersal/spread to other parts of the state and country,” she said.
Fasawe said the two sealed plants must provide environmental action and clean-up plan, including detailed environmental management policy document, normalise all necessary state government documents and taxes before being considered for reopening.