Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, stated this at the inauguration of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency at Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday.
According to him “a violation of this would attract N250, 000 or the amount the state would incur if it decides to carry out the beautification, or six months imprisonment or other non-custodian sentences…also anyone caught felling trees in the state or trimming them without permission would be fined a minimum of N50, 000 or sent to one year imprisonment.”
He said, “It is also an offence to walk on lawns and gardens. Urinating, defecating in any of the parks, gardens and open spaces; loitering or soliciting for illegal purposes, smoking and dumping refuse among others in the parks are also offences.”
The commissioner said the government had demonstrated commitment to environmental transformation by its massive greening programmes and would not relent in making the environment more beautiful.
He said the establishment of LASPARK was to create a structure for the beautification and landscaping of open spaces in the state as government had done with other agencies like LAWMA and LASAA.
He added that the state’s Parks and Garden Law of 2011 would enable the agency to function and build on the solid foundation laid by the Conservative and Ecology Department of the ministry.
He said, “As a matter of fact, we are structuring the state in such a way that ministries would formulate policies while agencies would implement and sustain them. We have about 89 agencies in the state and they are all performing well. Other states in the country are understudying them.
“LASPARK will maintain and manage all designated parks and gardens; carry out the general directives and policies of government in respect of parks and recreation centres among other duties.
“We are going to make the law available so that everybody will know what is expected of them. But we will not enforce the law now. We will do so after the traffic law is up and running.”
The General Manager of LASPARK, Olukunle Sotade, said the agency intended to collaborate with all sectors of the economy to build on the good foundation of the CE department.
He urged Lagosians to support the agency to succeed by obeying the parks and garden law.