The Lagos State Government has appealed to residents of the State, particularly the leisure and entertainment business operators to comply with environmental laws guiding their businesses during the forthcoming Valentine’s day celebration, urging them to “spread love and not noise.”
This appeal was contained in a statement jointly released by the General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Dolapo Fasawe and the Director-General, Lagos State Safety Commission (LSSC), Mr. Lanre Mojola at Ikeja.
The statement enjoined the public, particularly the owners of event centres as well as leisure, hospitality and entertainment facilities who plan to organise or host events, to consider the environment and safety of the people by obtaining necessary permits in order to operate in a friendly and safe environment.
Recalling that Valentine’s day is celebrated all over the world as a day specifically set aside for expressing love, the statement warned against activities that could be harmful or sow seeds of hate rather than love.
The GM, LASEPA affirmed that “The message of St. Valentine is to spread love and friendship with the motive of promoting harmony, unity and peaceful relationship through love, perseverance, tolerance and selfless actions. If our deeds contradict the reason for the celebration and impose unnecessary hardship on our supposed friends and allies, then we have failed to observe the tenets of St. Valentine”.
Noting that “We cannot separate noise from celebrations but we can do the needful by operating within approved decibels, thereby reducing the negative effects of noise pollution on everyone”, Fasawe warned leisure business owners not to cut corners but to obtain permits and operate within the prescribed noise standards as failure to comply will attract serious consequences.
She maintained that previous annual celebrations of Valentine’s day had been characterised by jamborees, concerts and parties which, if not regulated, could cause serious havoc on the environment and innocent citizens of the State.
Fasawe asserted that “permits are no licence to make noise and there is always a provision for revocation, where the noise exceeds the permissible standards”.
On his own part, the DG, LSSC expressed displeasure at the nonchalant attitude of entertainment business operators to the safety of their clients, especially during celebrations and fiestas.
“Since safety doesn’t go on holiday and accidents occur unannounced, there’s a need to ensure the safety of our clients and customers while within our premises and this can only be achieved if we put adequate safety measures in place to ensure total compliance with all safety regulations”, Mojola explained.
According to him, most event centres have less capacity for the multitude of guests invited, with little or no arrangement for safety measures, especially with no provision for escape routes in case of emergency incidents.
The DG reaffirmed that obtaining safety permits reduce risk of unforeseen accidents or fatalities, maintaining that officials of the Commission are well trained to plan alongside with entertainment business owners to ensure hitch-free events.