The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has appealed to Chief Executives Officers of private companies operating in the State to partner with the State Government to effectively tackle the menace of environmental degradation.
Ambode, gave the advice at the Muson Centre during the Greening Stakeholders’ Forum organized by the Lagos State Parks and Garden Agency (LASPARK) with the theme: ‘Sustaining Our Green Lagos’’.
Represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello , the Governor noted that private companies were in a vantage position to complement government efforts toward a sustainable greening programme, adding that environmental regeneration and sustainability have been an integral part of the programmes of the State Government since 1999, with tremendous achievements recorded in the transformation of the state’s environmental landscape.
According to him, “the responsibility to restore the glory and beauty of our environment is a collective one. The government cannot do it alone. We must all unite to salvage the environment; it is in our own best interests. I want to see more corporate bodies take environmental projects as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes”.
He reaffirmed that in spite of the high cost of the greenery programme, his administration was more committed than before to sustain it and take it even further because of its immense benefits to the society.
Apart from its proven capacity to generate employment opportunities, the programme has enormous potential to improve the well-being of the citizenry and ensure security of lives and properties, the Governor said.
He urged the private sector to adequately support the activities of LASPARK through the adoption and maintenance of the parks and gardens or even the creation of new ones.
Governor Ambode disclosed that there is a proposal for the construction of a Metropolitan Park that would be sited at Ayeteju in Ibeju Lekki ona 5 hectares of land, adding that the proposed recreational park will serve the people of Lekki, Ajah, Ibeju, Epe and its environs.
The Park when completed would be the biggest publicly owned in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, and would feature a mini zoo, playing area for children, fitness centre, multipurpose game court, and many other features, he stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Samuel Babatunde Adejare, said that in most developed countries, private sector support greening programme and renewable energy in the face of various environmental challenges and that Nigeria should not be an exception.
He stated that of the 300 parks and gardens in the State only 73, representing 23 per cent are being maintained by private companies and called for more partnership in this regard.
Adejare acknowledged and commended those companies that are supporting government efforts towards achieving a cleaner, safer and healthier environment, while also appealing for more funding for a sustainable greening programme to the benefit of all.