The Lagos State Government on Tuesday, banned the use of amplifiers, microphone, megaphones at motor parks, to reduce noise pollution in the environment.
Speaking at a news briefing in Ikeja, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr Omobolaji Gaji, said the rate of noise pollution, especially in public places was worrisome.
The briefing was organised by the Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, through the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), and the Ministry of Transportation.
Gaji said noise pollution was the most prevalent of the complaints received annually, accounting for 75% of total complaints.
He said the complaints were mostly anthropogenic, and not limited to transport, religious, commercial, industrial, entertainment, and power generating, among other sources.
According to him, noise pollution, which is an unwanted sound in excess of the permissible limit, has become very prevalent in Lagos environment.
Gaji said: “The menace is causing stress with severe health implications, while those with long term exposure will be suffering from hearing loss that is detrimental to human health.
“Adults are believed to be the ones thought to show great concerns from problems associated with noise pollution, but children are quite vulnerable as well, more so as there are no known visible symptoms at early age.
“Citizens are better informed of their rights to a safe and healthy environment following various advocacy programmes of the agency through electronic and print media. The most widely being the social media handles of the agency and its website.”
The General Manager, LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, said from Wednesday, it was illegal for any motor park in Lagos to make use of sound amplifiers and other noise-making devices while calling on passengers.
Fasawe warned that any park found violating the order would face the wrath of the law.
She said that Section 177, subsection 2 of the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017, prohibited the use of public address systems or loudspeakers to solicit for passengers or advertise the sale of goods at parks, markets and public places.
She said there was a specified limit of decibel of noise required in the day time and night, adding that anyone who flouted the new directive would be severely sanctioned.
Speaking on the penalty, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, also warned that any park that flouted the new directive would be shut down, while the transporters and managers of the parks would be dealt with in accordance with the law.
The menace is causing stress with severe health implications, while those with long term exposure will be suffering from hearing loss that is detrimental to human health.
To this end, she said there was a Motor Parks Monitoring Committee that would go round the parks to ensure compliance.
The Consultant in the Noiseless Lagos Project, Prof. Ade Owolawi, said it was unfortunate most that many Nigerians suffered from hearing impairment due to excessive exposure to noise pollution.
He noted that most transporters were also having hearing issues due to their exposure to noise pollution at their motor parks.
Owolawi added that a study conducted at the motor parks showed that 17% of the people working in the parks were suffering from hearing impairment.
The expert said the rate at which the number of affected Nigerians was increasing was alarming, urging the government’s intervention toward addressing the situation.
Owolawi said despite the hearing challenges at the motor parks, some people are fond of using very loud horns, adding that most of them engage in the practice unknowingly, not considering its harmful effects on their health. (NAN)