Recent digging across Lagos metropolis has drawn the ire of well meaning Lagosians concerned about the degradation of the environment.

The planned installation of fiber optic cables has seen digging along setbacks of the express way, bus stops and environs creating an eyesore environmentally.

Looking back over a decade ago to the Fashola administration which was strong on environmental sanitation and beautification, we recall the slogan “Eko oni baje” (Lagos will not go bad) which makes a lot of us nostalgic when we see such abuse perpetrated by the very government that should protect such legacy.

The Ambode administration which followed in 2015 tried in to uphold these values with beautification projects such as parks and areas for recreation. It built new roads across the state though it faltered on its refuse disposal plan which many hold was partly the reason why it couldn’t secure a second term.

We have seen over the years a drastic roll back of the beautification of Lagos state suggesting that such a laudable plan has been aborted or isn’t priority.

It is obvious that the Sanwo-Olu administration is trying to create jobs with the employment of direct labour in the execution of these projects but it shouldn’t do so at the expense of the sanity of the environment and safety of Lagosians.

Some of the holes being dug for these cables are as deep as six feet and are left open for long periods before they are covered. While they remain open, they remain a death trap at night in poorly lit parts of Lagos and when they are eventually closed, they are done in such a haphazard manner that it isn’t returned to the original pristine state it was before the project.

The Ministry of Environment (MOE)/Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency(LASEPA) should wake up to its responsibility of environmental protection as this falls under its purview. It should ensure compliance with global practice when such projects are being executed.

Road Signs and reflectors to warn road users and pedestrians should be on display at designated points to avoid accidents.

While we very much welcome technological infrastructure and we commend the Lagos state for being at the forefront amongst the comity of states in this area, it should not be at the expense of our environmental sanity because at the end of the day, repair of the man-made problem is done with hard-earned tax payers’ money.

Government should ensure that tax payers’ money isn’t used to solve problems that have been created as a result of its ineptitude.


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