The Lagos State Government shut down 22 religious houses, including two churches belonging to the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG and three companies over various environmental offences on Wednesday.
The General Manager of Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Mr. Ademola Shabi said the state government took the decision after inspecting some of the facilities that violated the state’s environmental law in different parts of the state.
He said Mopson Pharmaceuticals and a popular strip club were among those shut, saying that the club would never be reopened again, explaining that all his directives “to control noise pollution in the last two years have never been complied with.
“Ogba being a mixed residential and industrial area, should have a decibel not exceeding 55 at night. The noise coming from Shakara is more than 100 decibel. And anyone exposed to 115 decibel of noise for about six hours will automatically go deaf. That is the kind of risk Shakara poses to the area.”
Shabi stated that the closure of 22 religious houses brought the number to 55 that had been sanctioned in the last three weeks, thereby expressing concern that churches were fond of going back to their old ways after brief compliance.
According to him, churches would begin to pay fines ranging from N50,000 to N100,000 before they are reopened, explaining that the agency “has been working with the companies in the last two years, to ensure voluntary compliance in the treatment of waste water.
“It is because of water pollution that the three of them (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.”
He said one of the companies sealed on Wednesday is a pharmaceutical company.
“I did a research on three pharmaceutical companies in this state in 2014. I found that their waste water contain heavy metals, which is very dangerous to the environment. By the time it bio-accumulates in the fatty tissues of animals, it will bio-magnify into human beings and that is a source of cancer,” he said.
Shabi added that 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 (effluent) into the environment.
For the same reason, Dura Products Industries Nigeria Limited on Sanni Olabode Street, in Abule Egba, owned by a retired Group Captain, was also shut.
On Ayilara Street, Surulere, two churches: The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), God Royal Sanctuary, Lagos Province 3, Zone 15, Area 48 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 11 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. The residents complained over noise pollution and lack of clarity on activities carried out at the centre.
On Thomas Salako Street, Ogba, a Strip Club/Hotel, popularly known as Shakara Bar, was closed in violation of noise pollution and illegal siting.