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Lagos bans use of amplifiers at motor parks



The Lagos State Government on Tuesday banned the use of amplifiers, microphones and megaphones in motor parks to reduce noise pollution in the environment.

Speaking at a press conference in Ikeja, Environmental Services Bureau Permanent Secretary Dr. Omobolaji Gaji said the rate of noise pollution, especially in public places, was worrying.

The press conference was organized by the State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, through the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and the Ministry of Transport.

Gaji said noise pollution was the most frequent complaint received annually, accounting for 75 percent of all complaints.

He said the complaints were mostly anthropogenic and not limited to transportation, religious, commercial, industrial, entertainment, and power generation, among other sources.

According to him, noise pollution, which is unwanted sound that exceeds permissible limits, has become very prevalent in the Lagos environment.

“The threat is causing stress with serious health implications, while those with long-term exposure will experience hearing loss that is detrimental to human health.

“Adults are thought to be the ones who show the greatest concern about problems associated with noise pollution, but children are also quite vulnerable, even more so because they have no known visible symptoms at a young age.

”Citizens are better informed about their rights to a safe and healthy environment by following various agency advocacy programs through electronic and print media. The best known are the social media handles of the agency and its website,” he said.

LASEPA General Manager Dr. Dolapo Fasawe said as of Wednesday (today) that it was illegal for any car park in Lagos to make use of sound amplifiers and other devices that make noise while hailing passengers.

Fasawe said any park that violates the order will face the wrath of the law.

It said section 177 subsection 2 of the Lagos State Environmental Management and Protection Act 2017 prohibited the use of a public address or loudspeaker system to solicit passengers or announce the sale of goods in parks, markets and public places.

The general manager said there was a specific noise decibel limit required during the day and night, adding that anyone flouting the new directive would be severely penalized.

Speaking about the sanction, the Governor’s Special Adviser on Transport, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, said that any parks found to be in breach of the new directive would be closed while transporters and park managers would be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Fayinka said there was a Motor Park Monitoring Committee that would tour the parks to ensure compliance.

Expert consultant on the Noiseless Lagos Project, Prof. Ade Owolawi, said it was unfortunate that most Nigerians suffer from hearing problems due to excessive exposure to noise pollution.

Owolawi said that most carriers were hearing impaired due to their exposure to noise pollution in their motor parks.

The professor added that the study carried out in the motor parks showed that 17 percent of the people who worked in the parks suffered from hearing problems.

The expert said the rate at which the number of affected Nigerians was rising was alarming, and urged government intervention to address the situation.

Owolawi said that despite the hearing challenges at car parks, some people liked to use a very loud horn.

According to him, most engage in the practice without knowing it, without considering the harmful effects on health.

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