The Lagos State Government has shut down 53 churches, mosques and hotels over noise pollution and environmental nuisance.
Some of the worship centres were shut because they were converted from residential apartments to places of worship thereby contravening the law and constituting nuisance to other neighbours.
General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, Engr Rasheed Shabi, said the agency received lots of complaints from residents and neighbours about the nuisance constituted by the premises shut by the agency.
“In recent times, most of the petitions kept coming back to us. It was as if we are not working at all. That was why we shut the premises,” he said.
Shabi said some of the affected facilities had been served abatement notices before their eventual closure, adding that the growing rate of worship centres in the state calls for serious regulations, especially in the areas of noise pollution.
He added that some of the worship centres polluting the neighbourhood with noise were usually makeshift structures that do not have government approval.
“You cannot have makeshift structure and say you want to be conducting services or vigil there. Definitely, you will be disturbing your neighbours. So, the government won’t allow the use of makeshift facilities as a church or mosque.
“Nobody is allowed to make noise above 55 decibel during the day in the residential area and only 45 decibel is allowed in such area at night. In the industrial areas, 90 decibel of noise is allowed during the day while the noise rate must not exceed 80 decibel at night in such areas.
“The compliance level is increasing. More residents now understand the effect of noise. Some of the religious houses are also complying with the noise pollution regulations,” he stated.
Shabi said that the hotels were shut for failing to conduct and submit Environmental Impact Assessment report about their premises.