The Ogun State Commissioner for Environment, Engineer Ayo Olubori says government would not in any way or manner condone industrialists whose activities are poising threat to the living of its citizens.
Engineer Olubori stated this at a meeting called at the instance of his ministry concerning an issue of environmental pollution as alleged by the Olapeleke community in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the State against Lafarge WAPCO Cement Company located within the Local Government.
Farmers in Ewekoro and Olapeleke communities had blamed the Cement company of being responsible for their dwindling fortunes due to the operations of Lafarge in the communities.
The Commissioner stated that although government is interested in industrializing the state, it would not ignore industries whose activities are counter productive adding. Government would always ensure that the environment is safe for all and sundry to live in.
“We had an on the spot assessment based on the claims of a newspaper report and could not ascertain the facts of the case in our visit, so, we invited the community leaders led by the Baale of Olapeleke and the management of Lafarge for a dialogue, as the government regulatory agency saddled with the primary responsibility of making sure that our environment is safe for all of us.
“Until this is finally resolved, government would act as a mediator between Lafarge WAPCO and Olapeleke community basically because Ogun State government does not want a replica of the South –South experience, because we don’t want militancy or any unfriendly atmosphere in Ogun State. Today its Olapeleke, tomorrow it could be another community” he said.
Olubori further explained that government through the Ogun State Environmental Protection Agency (OGEPA) on routine basis would conduct inspection visit to industries operating within the State to ensure they operate within the permissible environmental standards.
“I want to assure all the communities in Ogun State that government would not allow any industry to impact negatively on the communities .Yes we want industries, we want them to come to Ogun State but in as much as we want more of them in Ogun State, we don’t want irresponsible use of the environment at any point in time,” he assured.
Responding on behalf of Lafarge WAPCO Cement Industry, General Manager Independent Power Production Mr. Lanre Opakunle appreciated the efforts of the government acting as a mediator between the company and the communities by ensuring that peace and harmony prevail within the locality, stating that Lafarge through its Community Relation Committee, would come up with a resolution that would be favourable to both Lafarge and Olapeleke community.
Reacting on behalf of Olapeleke Community, the Baale Chief Adisa Akinremi lauded the gesture of the State government for its timely intervention in ensuring that there is peaceful co-existence between various industries that operates within the state and their host communities.
Source : SunOnline