Lagos State has banned the use of amplifiers, megaphones and other sound amplifying equipments at motor parks, saying the people have a right to live in a noiseless environment.
At a joint news conference, Special Adviser to the governor on Transportation Toyin Fayinka said defaulting parks would be shut, owners of the noise-generating object would be arrested while repeated offenders risk jail.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Omobolaji Gaji lamented that despite its seemingly unharmful pose, noise pollution make up 75 per cent of complaints received annually.
He added that the complaints are mostly anthropogenic, and not limited to transport, religious, commercial, industrial, entertainment, among others sources.
He said: “Noise pollution is the major leading public complaints received by the agency, ranging from the transport sector, religious, commercial and entertainment industry, domestic animals, and power generators among others. Adults are believed to be the only ones susceptible to problems associated with noise pollution but, children, are also quite vulnerable, moreso as there are no known visible symptoms at the early ages.”
General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) Dolapo Fasawe reiterated that it was now illegal for motor parks in Lagos to use sound amplifiers and other noise-making devices to call passengers. She said any park found doing so would face the wrath of the law.
According to her, Section 177 of the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Law 2017, prohibits the use of public address system or loudspeaker to solicit for passengers or advertise the sale of goods at parks, markets and public places.
Fasawe reiterated that the accepted level of noise in the day is 55 decibels and 45 at night for residential areas, 70/60 for commercial areas, and 85/65 for industrial areas. She added that anyone found flouting the directive would be sanctioned.
Consultant in the ‘Noiseless Lagos Project’ Prof Ade Owolawi lamented about 8.5 million Nigerians suffered hearing impairments due to excessive exposure to noise pollution. He added that a test conducted at a motor park showed that 17 per cent of drivers and conductors at the park suffered severe hearing impairment as a result of the noise level. About 13 per cent had their ears blocked with wax. They could however not trace their challenges to the noise pollution until the test.
He thus described moves by the Lagos State government as necessary and important to prevent a greater calamity.Follow us on social media